Michael & other MS Art Educators,
One of my favorite lessons regarding Medieval Art, has been within the
investigation of its Art & Architecture. As a 6th grade lesson we have
studied Rose Windows, there are many publications and examples within Art
& Art history books. We would create a simulated stained glass/rose
window, using black construction paper with symmetrical cutouts. This
can be done with classroom scissors. Begin by showing examples of rose
windows and discussing symmetry from nature. Then have students cut a
circle first, from a pre-cut square of black construction 18"x 18".
Students fold & cut out their design, like a large snowflake, however do not cut from the outer
edge from the circle,or it will be a black snowflake as opposed to a rose
window. Fill shapes symmetrically with tissue paper. They can be
laminated and hung in the windows and are just about 100% successful with
all students. In addition, take a field trip to a local church with
Gothic Revival architecture. Choose one with a rose window or circular
windows that might be at the tip of an arched window. Lecture on site
about Gothic architecture, the place of art within that culture, and
about the symmetry seen within the rose window(s). Be sure to take the
classroom teacher(s) with you. They will learn as much as the students.
Back in 1985, I had the position of the 6th Grade Art Resource Teacher,
and had 5 schools. I taught this lesson to every student. Every student
, from my 5 schools, went on the field trip, in addition to every classroom
teacher. I still have teachers and students (adults now) remark about what a great
learning experience this was. Enjoy!