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Lesson Plans

Re: 1 & 2 point perspective

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Mark Alexander (Alexander)mamjam)
Sun, 17 Nov 1996 23:52:41 -0500

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Dear Gina,

I am a great first year teacher...only sometimes. I'm hoping to increase
the amount of time I'm great by gathering and following some of the advice
I get here. Yours is great advice.

I decided not to teach the 6th grade actual 1 and 2 point linear
perspective, prefering to use a more holistic approach. I might do linear
perspective with the 7th and 8th, later on in the year.

Meanwhile I've already begun with my sixth grade. We started out with an
initial drawing of any corner of the room, including the ceiling and floor.
Most of them had no concept of how to describe the 3-D corner on the 2-D
paper. One or two did well with the illusion, and were very intuitive about

We put those initial drawings away then we did a step by step demo and
practice of the sighting the pencil methods using the edges of the paper as
a reference as outlined in DRAWING FROM THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE BRAIN by
Betty Edwards. We made a series of drawings of desks and chairs in the
room. Many more of the students seemed to understand the concept and
created the illusions we were looking for.

Then we used plexiglas sheets and markers to draw the corner of the room.
I wanted them to try to trace the edges, just to reaffirm that the edges of
things really go where they look like they go. Some of them enjoyed the
plexiglas drawing, but we didn't get time to transfer the drawings to
paper, because so many students just never got what they were supposed to
do with it.

I'll leave the plexiglas method as an option for those who like it, but
stress the logic of the pencil sighting reference method. It's safe to say
they'll usually have something like a pencil when they draw or paint.

The problem I'm going to present for next class will be for them to act
like a cat. Climb on the tables, crawl on the floor, get up on the
counters. Then draw the room from a cat's point of view. Of course
they'll have to be very still, because the point of view must always stay
the same! I have till wednesday to decide on media, but colored pencils
should keep it simple and linear, or watercolors might be fun.

I forget where the cat point of view lesson idea comes from, but it was
probably Craig Rolands web page, ArtsEdge, or even here? I'm positive it
was from a source somewhere on the internet. It's a great idea. Can
someone please help me give credit where credit is due?

Anyway, I'm not going out of the room just yet. Like most classes, though,
I'm sure all but two or maybe three of the students could handle the
freedom of the hallways quite nicely. Anyone have any hints about those
two or three that seem to so frequently limit our choices?

Thanks for your input!

Mark Alexander
1-8 Art on the Cart
Lee H. Kellogg School
Falls Village, CT 06031

>Perhaps you are a great first year teacher but I myself, at ten years of
>experience with k-12 would never have kids in hall on first day of unit
>drawing in perspective. Even with my high schoolers we have a draw along
>session starting with
>1. overlapping mountains and river/highway receding to vanishing point
>2. railroad tracks and telephone poles receing to 1 vanishing point
>3. interior of room with checkerboard floor/tiled ceiling & windows
> in 1 pt. perpective.
>4. and finally, a two point perspective simple bldg.
>5. Then the 'floating blocks' one above horizon line, one below, one from
>I later have them draw a stooll with rungs and point out sighing with a
>pencil in air to find the angles to draw.

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