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Lesson Plans

Re: perspective question....

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Tue, 27 Jul 1999 18:51:38 EDT

In a message dated 7/26/1999 10:50:50 AM, writes:

>Anyway...back to my question. Does anyone see a trend of some artistically
>gifted students having a harder time with perspective than general
>population of kids?

A while back I noticed that what I consider the "gifted kids" often had to do
things THEIR way. When rules were imposed they balked or created garbage....
I am sure you know what I mean. I had to learn to back off from trying to
impose my pre-existing expectations and look at and appreciate the unique
stuff they came up with. Others, who are perfectionists, get very frustrated!

On the topic of perspective... I teach it in 5th grade. First, we look at the
video, "Masters of Illusion". We do freehand drawings the first week and the
students have an extra credit assignment to draw the school hallway and bring
it to the next class. Then we start with one point perspective, then go to 2
point perspective. Yes there are some kids who just do not get it at all. I
have an example of what I did in 5th grade (thanks Mom!). It has lots of
mistakes and helps the students see that I did not get it right away. When I
model something, I do everything twice. I draw it on the chalkboard, and on a
paper. One more thing... on the first day of school, I have students draw
their home as a pre-test of sorts to save in their portfolio for comparison.
After we do the perspective unit, I ask them to draw their home again and
then we compare the results to what they drew earlier. They are usually quite
pleased to see their progress.

At the end of the school year, I ask my students, if I were to teach only one
thing we studied this year, what should it be? Invariably, it is perspective.

Think it was Lowenfeld who developed the theories about ages when kids are
most able to learn different things. I believe he said that students around
the age of 10 are finally able to pull away from symbolic drawing and start
interpreting what they see around them with more accuracy. I have had a mixed
4-5 class and the 4th graders have a more of a struggle with perspective than
the 5th graders.... not to say that there are not exceptions. Teachers of K-1
have shown me artwork by students that has perspective. When I talk to those
students, they say their older brother or sister or parent showed them how to
do it.

Is there any hope that California will get art teachers at the elementary
level again?

Christine Merriam
Kayenta Intermediate School

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