It helps to know about child development with this age group. One
characteristic is that they think everyone is looking at them. They
are concerned with being o.k. in ways younger kids are not, and that
extends to having their art work be acceptable...not to you so much
as peers. They naturally regress to suns, rainbows, stars, that rose
sort of flower, happy faces, etc if girls. Boys do symbols like tags
and sometimes action figures or weapons, things they have been
doodling since they were younger. They do this fall back stuff
because they already know how to do it. This age also copies from
comic books like mad. Tweety bird, Pokemon, etc. Their peers say then
that they are really good artists. So might their parents praise them
for neat and accurate copy work. All of this reinforces the "being
One of my most successful classes had to do with human proportion.
This age group loves to have lessons where they can't fail (see
above). I start by asking them to draw a stick figure, and then, by
adding lines on either side of the stick, make the figure look more
full and human. I explain that we will be making the stick figure
move as a cut out action figure.
Fold a strip of paper about 4" wide in 8 sections, horizontally, fold
back top section and write name.
On board show students a figure and how it fits in the seven
sections. One for head, Three sections from top of head to the waist,
one for hips, two for legs and last one for feet.
Have students stand up and put their arms at their sides. Show them
that tips of fingers come to mid thigh. Elbows are near the waist.
Add arms to figure. Then ask students to put an x each place where
the body bends (major joints) including the neck/head. Cut out the
body and cut at the x's. Then, arrange the pieces.
I would never say jointed paper doll...but that is what you have.
After students put the figures in motion (jumping running throwing
ball) glue down. Finally students can look at teen magazines and
sports magazines and design an outfit.
Trace their figure on thin paper and use the thin paper as the
template for the clothing. Then use construction paper or heavy paper
to create the fashions by tracing the template.
My students even added tiny athletic shoes with Nike symbols,
baseball caps with logos. It was a fun lesson and helped them learn
how to "draw" the figure.