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Last April you sent a post to ArtsEdNet about books that your 8th graders
make to reenforce their understanding of those important principles and
elements of design. Using marbelized paper and Japanese bookbinding, they
then fill the books with their examples of the P & E concepts. At the end
they take an 'open book' P & E test. Great plan!
I intend to do something based on your idea with my 8th graders. They are
new to me, and I am new to them, so it will be a great way for us to get to
know more about each other and the artistic discipline as well.
But I am worried that you say <this is definitely not their favorite thing>
and so I thought that I could offer a suggestion in exchange for more
details about the review lessons you present them to make and then fill up
the books. Perhaps others have ideas to offer as well?
I have always considered actually painting the color wheel to be boring
drudge work, and probably most 8th graders have already done it before.
Same with value charts. Besides, I believe the objective is to illustrate
a color theory concept--not to practice paint mixing and hard edge painting
Instead, my suggestion is to use a paper mosaic technique, with color
snippets from color magazine pictures. First tear lots of small
snippetts of as pure color as possible. Each student should save them in
their own set of six standard envelopes. Great time to trade and swap
amongst the students.
Then on a piece of white paper, make a light pencil outline of the shape,
with light pencil notations of the colors to go inside. Ask them to make
their color wheel something other than the standard boring circle shape. A
six pointed star would work, or a flower shape, or a bunch of balloons,
etc. Then the final step is to gluestick the snippetts into their
appropriate shapes. The more advanced can graduate values on the same
chart. For crisp outside edges, cut out the color wheel shape and glue
them into the books. With enough small snippetts, the colors should look
As a reference, or extension, look up Tony Cragg's sculptures. In the July
1996 ART IN AMERICA, page 68, there are two installation sculptures that
have colorfull plastic found objects arranged into a 'color wheel.' I can
visualize a whole class working on a one foot by 15 foot mural of hot melt
glued found objects that illustrate the basic color wheel concept! Worth
Thanks for the lesson plan idea. I look forward to hearing all your ideas!!!!!
Mark Alexander, K-8 Art Teacher
Lee H. Kellogg School
Falls Village, CT 06031
(Mark Alexander) mamjam