I also teach grades 6-8 and am a first year teacher. We are still in the
drawing unit and doing great. My 8th. graders are also a handful and I must
have something for them to do every minute. Nine of my students artwork was
picked to go in the county fair competition and 3 were from the veteran
teacher. My style is way different from hers. She is having her students do
copy work. Actually she gives them photographs of things for them to copy.
I set 3-D things up for them to do.
Here are two success. I told them to>>>>>>
TAKE YOUR SHOE OFF, PUT IT ON THE TABLE AND DRAW IT (with a pencil)
Most of them did tennis shoes or sandals. They were great! I had them work
and rework. They learned contour drawing and then modeled drawing from this.
I was looking for details and had to push real hard to get them to do it,
but finally they began to get it and began to challenge themselves. I was
very picky and they came through for me. I even got them to do medium, light
and dark values along with highlights. The shoes that were hardest to do
were the solid color suede shoes. The fair starts this week so I will let you
know how my 9 do compared to the rest of the state.
NEXT LESSON (pencil)
STILL LIFE (GEOMETRIC SHAPES) keep reading; another method will follow.
I set up a display of geometric shapes. I turned off the lights and turned on
a lamp to give me dramatic lighting. I used two boxes, one large Styrofoam
ball, one cylinder (paper towel roll), one velveeta cheese box, a roll of
duct tape and a triangular flask. These were placed on a tall rolling cart
covered with one dark and one light colored scarf/cloth. This was VERY
challenging for them to get the correct proportions. It took over a week.
They did great yet it was hard on me to go around to each person (an average
of 3 times per student) to point out what changes they need to make. I don't
write or draw on their work. They had the most trouble with the corner on
the boxes. They were below eye level and they kept drawing that line down
like an open book instead of higher than the corners. Anyway they finally
did it and then afterward I came out with a better way to teach it...
BETTER WAY TO TEACH A STILL LIFE
I cleared off the table except for the scarves and one thing. I chose the
Styrofoam ball. I placed it front and center. I also gave them each a copy
of an outline drawing of this scene so everybody would start off the same
size and proportions. (just a ripplely line towards the bottom of the page
for the table top and a circle the size of a 50 cent piece for the ball).
They had 3 minutes to shade the ball. Next I added the paper towel roll
behind the ball just slightly to the right of the ball. They had 3 minutes
to draw the cylinder and put in the shading. Next I placed one of the boxes
behind and to the left of the ball. They had 5 minutes to draw this. I
reminded them that the size of the new stuff had to relate to the previous
stuff. I kept putting things up there and giving them 5 or 10 minutes to do
each. These were great and the students kept saying over and over how much
easier it was than the other time! I was thrilled. I did not have to really
help anybody. They caught on so quickly and were really focused. I think
the time element was the key and also they did not have to make any decisions
as to what to do first. Just remember to start from front to back and from
low to high. I plan to use this method with regular still life's too.
Today we did gesture drawings, contour drawings and modified contour
drawings. I laid out blank newspaper over the tables and set up different
shapes of bottles, a candle stick, architectural thing and a giraffe.
In a message dated 10/2/00 4:11:54 PM Central Daylight Time,
> Hi, I'm a first year teacher at a small middle school. I have a group of
> 8th graders who are having considerable difficulty with managing materials
> and behavior. So far, I've found it most effective to keep them in their
> seats, working on projects that require only pencil (preferably their own)
> colored pencil. While this reduces movement and opportunity for trouble,
> running out of ideas for projects that use only pencil and colored pencil.
> Does anyone have any suggestions for projects that require limited supplies
> and have considerable built-in structure? I'd appreciate any advice.