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Re: Elementary Architecture

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From: Linda Papanicolaou (paplinda_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Thu Jun 21 2001 - 08:14:03 PDT


We had a couple of good lessons in our old curriculum
which I still use:

1) A Paul Klee based lesson, good for younger grades
but the older kids like it too: start with a random
line design with 90 degree direction changes (though
get a few semicircular domes and acute angle steeples
in it too), then go back and turn it into a cityscape
by adding architectural details, windows doors
weathervanes, etc.

2) A lesson in orthogonal projection that the kids
call "3-D skyscrapers." Distribute a set of pologyon
shapes cut from oaktag (squares, rhomboids,
trapezoids, etc) and have the kids trace a random
arrangement of five (or so) on their paper; drop
vertical lines from each corner, paying attention to
the parallels and to overlapping; add detail to turn
this crystalline structure into a city scape from a
bird's-eye view (windows are the obvious detail, but
pay particular attention to all the things that go on
top of city buildings: water tanks, skylights,
helipads, rooftop swimming pools, antennas and
satellite dishes, billboards, etc).

This was a third grade lesson in our curriculum but
may be better for early fourth grade when it's more of
an "Aha". My fourths this year remembered doing it
the previous year and were always eager for more
lessons that would let them draw 3-D buildings.

3) With July 4 coming up, this is a lovely product
lesson that one of our second grade teachers did for
the millenium, and it drew rave reviews when it was
displayed: A simple city skyline cut from black
construction paper, windows lit for night time by
stamping with yellow paint, glued to a dark blue
construction paper sky that was full of fireworks in
starbursts of multicolored glitter glue.

Linda Papanicolaou
Palo Alto [CA] Unified School District

PS: Back when the list went down I was reading the
posts about "lurkers" with chagrin because I'd never
offered anything up myself. I've been doing
elementary art-on-a-cart for three years in a school I
love, but I am excited about moving into a new middle
school the district is opening this fall. The Talk
digests have been enormously helpful in helping me
think things out in advance. Many, many thanks to
everyone who has posted not only about lessons but
abot all the stuff I haven't yet had to deal with such
as classroom management, rubrics and grading etc. Some
of your websites are an inspiration and I'll try to
have one for our art room going as soon as possible.

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