My grade 6s are busy creating slab plates. First of all, they selected a Global Concern activity from school to promote as one of our guiding questions was “How can we create art that will raise awareness?” Students were required to brainstorm, create thumbnails and then develop and refine three of their thumbnail ideas. Throughout this process, we investigated “Where do good ideas come from?” & “How can we communicate our ideas effectively?” Time permitting, I’ll try to make an update, that also includes this developmental work.
Wethen pitched these designs in small groups where they received constructive criticism from their peers. Students then submitted their final design to begin clay work. I created this tutorial video for the students to watch before the lesson. It’s a little long-winded at 12 minutes but covers all the required elements for the forming elements of the plate. It’s not fully flipping the classroom, but is a bit of a time saver, especially when you have to teach the same thing a few times a week. If interested in a bit more detail on the process of the unit, click here. However, the end of the unit needs further refining, as well as some exit strategies for each lesson.
Thanks to my friend Tim B for sharing this via Facebook. Here’s my type of holiday activity. What better than Star Wars snowflakes? Head over to Anthony Herrera Designs to get the templates, which he is sharing for free.
As I trudge ahead with my grade 7 unit on photography, one fun activity we did was to play with forced perspective. We looked at some examples here and here, and then students were put into small groups to create their own. This was also used to introduce depth of field. The biggest frustration students had was trying to control this, as their foregrounds were clear, but their attempts at including the background often blurred. If this isn’t your focus, you could simply use iPhones or iPads to take these kinds pictures with less depth of field issues. The students really enjoyed the task and were fully engaged. Not bad for a quick 10-15 minutes! You can see some of their photos in the slideshow below or via Flickr here.
This work is a bit old now, but I thought I’d share since I have finally been able to photograph some work. Back in September, my grade 8 students were introduced to one and two point perspective drawing. After some technical activities and developmental work, they were asked to go onto Google Earth to explore their neighbourhood. An attractive composition was then framed where students examined the perspective elements. Students then created a drawing of their neighbourhood in pencil or marker with line techniques, from the comfort of their laptop. The paper size was 19.5cm x 13.5cm. This was not a final project, but simply an exercise done in one lesson. View some photos below through the slideshow or through Flickr here.
I teach over 100 grade 6 students and have finally photographed the work for their drawing unit. Our focus was on natural objects, such as leaves, shells and plants etc. Students were assessed on accuracy, use of line & gradation.The results vary, especially at the grade 6 level, however, all showed improvement over their pre-assessment drawing. View the small gallery here on Flickr of selected pics if interested.
I currently find myself teaching a photography unit to my grade 7s. I think I am done refining the unit (for the time being anyway) and am really enjoying it. The students are also super excited, engaged and motivated. One activity I like is getting them to discuss in groups on what makes a good photo. They then share their answers as a class and mostly come up with the terms I wish to introduce to them.
They are still going through the process of improving their framing skills, but to save them (and myself) time, I created the slideshare below for their reference. In it, I explain some concepts, provide examples and give some tips. Have a look if interested. I’m sure I have left something out. Feel free to also download a copy via my Google Drive here as well (preview not available, just download).
I’m currently planning out a grade 7 photography/photoshop unit and decided to again use glitched photography from a previous unit I taught, for one of my current class warm-ups. I’ve blogged about glitched photography before, and the students and I find it a lot of fun. Glitched artwork celebrates computer error and basically, students simply corrupt the data of their jpg file. To facilitate this, I’ve created the following 2 minute basic screencast video to assist them.
Not the most exciting post, but if you are interested, I’ve collected my photographs of plants and flowers to use in my drawing units. You can view it in the slideshow below or directly through Flickr here. The set collects plants from Japan, Thailand, Singapore and Malaysia. I’ve included a colour and black and white version to assist students in seeing the different tones. The set will continue to build over time. Naturally, I encourage students to gather their own photos, but if they don’t…
Following off the heels of my last post, here’s another gem from the PBS OffBook series. “Creativity has always been essential for our cultural growth, but there are still many misconceptions about this elusive process. Not the left-brain/right-brain binary that we’ve come to believe, being creative is considerably more complex, and requires a nuanced understanding of ourself and others. Being a powerful creative person involves letting go of preconceived notions of what an artist is, and discovering and inventing new processes that yield great ideas. Most importantly, creators must push forward, whether the light bulb illuminates or not.”
Notes from video:
Many people think we are born with creativity, or that it is a gift
Creativity is a process – many think “How can I do this? Where do I begin?” (and this can be daunting)
We need to expand our capacity of uncertainty – Consider what will happen next and chase ideas down – this experience will lead to other ideas
Develop your own tools and prompts: impulse is one pice of the puzzle, eventually you have to sit down and do the work
Understanding how to work is a key part to realisation – creativity is a spiral of excitement and despair – allow the despair, it will lead to new things
You have to keep at it!
The Cognitive Stages of Creativity:
Creativity is not a simple distinction between left and right brain
People tend to be more creative if they are open to combine different associations
The Preparation Stage: where we set to learn lots of things
Incubation : we let the idea go; digest it – let our mind wander and return to task later
Illumination: insight – where connections collide into consciousness
Verification: use these critical thinking skills, consider your audience and craft the message so it is best received by people
A good healthy collaboration will always make creativity better
Conversations are productive
Remember that your ideas are not you, and that criticisms are not about you
You need to be ready to let go of your ideas
It is difficult to be creative without trust
A healthy collaborative process will only amplify your voice
Nothing is Original:
Creating is influenced by other work and creations
Let go of the romantic notion of originality and that ideas come out of the blue