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The first thing I did was to have the students completely learn how to use
all the tools and the menu bar with Paint that comes with Windows and I set
up lessons to accomplish that. After that, they learned to use HyperStudio
and create presentations.
Now, they have no trouble using any graphics programs that we have. We
added Dabbler and Painter Classic this year. Also, my advanced 7th and 8th
grade classes learned to use Power Point this year. They chose an artist
and did their research on the web. Then they used either Works, Word, or
Publisher to do their paper. They had to capture images off the internet
and save to a disk to take to the computer that has the color printer
attached, in order to print their images. They also learned to use the
scanner to scan pictures from their art books and also save them to a disk
After doing their paper, they then did a presentation using Power Point and
had to insert their images (and clip art). Many of them used Dabbler to
create their own background rather than use the templates provided. They
saved their presentations to a disk. Their work was done in the computer
lab where we have enough computers for a class. The presentations were done
in our classroom on the computer that is attached to the large screen TV. I
plan to put all of the presentations on a zip disk and run them in a loop to
show the next time we have open house for parents to visit the classrooms.
Back to the lessons we did last year....
Some of the lessons can be basically the same that you do in the classroom.
They learned to do tessellations, then we did them on the computer.
Also, they did Symmetrical designs, where they drew a rectangle or square,
divided it into shapes, added patterns, colors, etc. ...then copied and
pasted, and flipped the shapes accordingly until they had 4 shapes that fit
together symmetrically. Then they copied and pasted this until they filled
their screen. Actually, if these are done very tiny (you'll have to enlarge
to do the designs), they can become new wallpaper for the background of the
They can do positive-negative designs...
draw a large rectangle and fill with smaller rectangles, squares, circles,
triangles and free-form shapes. Then use the appropriate tools to draw
perfectly horizontal and vertical lines to divide the larger rectangle.
Then complete by filling with black in every other space/shape, etc.
Have them draw a black square or rectangle....then cut out shapes and flip
Draw a squiggly line without looking at the screen...then look at it and try
to turn it into a face, then scroll up and add the body and the background.
Have them use the line tool to draw a map from home to school, then add text
to label roads or other important landmarks.
Have them create a value drawing by going into the color menu and changing
the color to create different values. I do this one using the curved line
tool. They first draw the large rectangle to fill their screen. Then they
draw horizontal curved lines to represent water lines and the bottom. Then
they add sea creatures with pencil or pen. Then they can lightly spray the
sand on the bottom, add swaying grasses, shells, etc. The water can be
colored with the different values of blues and the sea creatures can be
Also, I have them change from color to black and white and do a value
We have scanned the newer paper money, let them cut out the oval in the
center and create a new design (can be their photos).
They use the digital camera in the classroom taking pictures of each other,
down load the images and save them to a disk to take to computer lab and
use. They have to create a picture using their own images. We have had a
lot of fun with these. Some of the students change them several ways, print
them out, and then do a collage. Some will put several students photos on
one picture. They do different things. They can be creative and come up
with ideas of their own.
One lesson is to allow them to use two pieces (only) of clip art and to
create a complete picture. I have had them draw landscapes, add houses,
trees, etc. and then let them insert a couple of people into their picture.
We do lessons in perspective...both one-point and two-point...by adding the
slanted guide lines and then erasing them.
I have them take an art work (Van Gogh's Sunflowers or anything) and try to
recreate it on the screen (they are allowed to interpret it their way).
We do drawings, scan them into computer, and use different color schemes to
help them learn color.
They do a design using fonts completely...changing size, color, adding
patterns, flipping, rotating, then stretching their shapes, cutting apart
and pasting, etc.
They use the calligraphic brush tools to draw plants and trees.
They have done seating charts for the teachers...using copying and pasting,
etc. and labeling.
They do large posters of classroom rules for the teachers.
All of the lessons use specific tools on the computers to reinforce their
knowledge of the tools.
This should give you plenty of ideas to get started. You can use existing
lessons from your art classes and change them to suit your needs on the
computers. Computers are just another medium and should be treated as such.
Hope this helps.
E. B. Frink Middle School
>I'm in the process of putting together a middle school program for a
>graphics class. We will be using Mac-G3's and have the following software
>available: Dabbler, ClarisWorks, KidPix, Painter, Photoshop, Typestyler and
>Poser, a digital camera, plus a color printer. I would appreciate any
>suggestion and in turn would share mine. Thanks in advance.