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Lesson Plans

Hands that sign

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Jane Shiflett Manner (jmanner)
Sat, 12 Sep 1998 15:43:17 -0400

In the 1970s,with influence from Nicoliades (sp?), I began teaching contour
line techniques using each student's hand as the object to be intensively
observed. Over the years in attempt to encourage good composition in these
studies, the assignment evolved to "at least 5 hands with at least 3
overlaps/observer eye movement from left to right, up and down, and
spatially in and out/sophisitcation of line quality-thick,thin,
light,dark." Many ways of accomplishing this are discussed, but most of the
students opt to utilize the American sign language chart that is provided
as a handout. Some spell out thier names, things like "world peace" or "I
love you." There are always some 9th grade boys who draw the ends of
fingers exploding or sinew, bones and blood dripping from wrists. I'm
always excited when an enterprising student figures out how to show the
movement involved in some of the letters while adhering to the criteria set
for the project. When a project successfully teaches observation and
drawing techniques for over 20 years with each new batch of students
happily wanting to do as well or better than the students in the class
before I call it exceedingly successful.
This is the first assignment in high school Art I.