Grade 9 students have begun their graphic design unit and were asked to create a composition using only the letters of their name. They selected whether to use Photoshop or Illustrator. The purpose of the task was for them to become familiar with fonts, layout as well as some of the text editing tools. The task was done without any instruction on the teacher’s part, except for the information below.
Task: What Type Are You? (60mins)
Using Photoshop or Illustrator, create a document/composition using only the letters of your name.
-You should experiment with various fonts.
-You should experiment with size.
-You should experiment with rotation, overlapping and/or mirroring.
-You should experiment with kerning etc.
-You should limit your colour palette, but may use colour in any way you see fit.
-You should consider layout, spacing and/or white space.
-Your composition should have an attractive balance.
-You may use repetition.
-You may play with orientation.
-You may play with opacity.
View the images below or directly through Flickr here. During the next class, we will critique the work.
Our IB Art show just wrapped up over the weekend. It was a smaller affair this year involving only four students and another student that joined half-way through. Congrats to my colleague Richard as well as the students on all their hard work! View some pics below or directly through Flickr here.
Before starting our second units in grade 7 and 8 Technology, I decided to incorporate a little bit of art and technology. We made some glitched photography, which you can see below or directly through Flickr here. I’ve blogged about this before, where there is a great PBS OffBook video and a link to a tutorial. Basically, you open your photo in text edit and start corrupting the file by deleting, inserting, copying and adding text. Give it a try. It doesn’t take long and the students enjoyed it.
This is my first year teaching Middle School Technology using the MYP Design Cycle. It is a rather thorough and demanding programme, both in terms of student work, teaching and evaluating. However, I understand and agree with the goals of the programme and how the focus is on process over product.
Recently my grade 7 class just completed their unit on digital stories. Our significant concept was, “We can communicate our stories in many different ways.” Our unit question was, “How can we use media to communicate our stories?”
I’ll save myself the trouble of summarising the unit on this post. If interested, you can view what we did weekly for about 12 weeks here. Of course, I will be making some necessary changes and improvements to the structure and delivery of the unit, as well as some refinements to the evaluation.
What I would like to do, is showcase some of the efforts these clever 12 and 13 year olds have done. These “stories” were rather flexible in their definition, with some students creating fiction, documentaries and instructional videos. They had only three weeks to actually create the product and some were very successful. To clarify this, some “unsuccessful” efforts were also successful (and probably more direct and efficient) in teaching what is needed to create a piece of work. This is an aspect of the MYP that I like. Some of the applications ranged from iMovie, to Powerpoint/Keynote to VoiceThread, Doozla, Blender, FinalCut and Adobe Flash.
The first one here impresses me. It is a hand drawn comic that was imported into Prezi in order to pan across the panels, which was then screen recorded. Next it was imported into iMovie for further editing. Did I mention this was completed in 3 weeks? I like the mixture between digital and analogue.
There are several others I can show, but this post would run on forever. If you’d like to see some student reflection/evaluation examples, check out these two here and here. Feel free to leave some of these students comments directly on the video sites.
Forgive me, but I must do a little self-promotion. I’m pleased to announce that two of my artworks have gotten published this year! The first is a children’s colouring book via Doodler’s Anonymous. It features 60 artists from around the world in a collection of drawings. Pre-ordering is available for 12USD making it just in time as a great Christmas gift. I entered 3 drawings and surprisingly, my first choice was not chosen. My selected entry is below. Can’t wait to get my hands on it.
The second is for a book/project entitled Keep/Delete. This book highlights ‘the transformation of digital text-message into physical artefact. Designers were invited to design an artifact of a message that was ‘wanting to be kept’, either from their own personal repository of messages or from their circle of friends and family.’ If you teach art, this would also make an interesting unit of study.
What is even more great is that May T., one of my grade 8 students, was also selected to be included in the book. Huge congrats to her for participating! It is a bit exciting having both of us selected. My piece, as well as hers are below respectively. May’s work roughly translates as “May the future be sunny.” Order the book via Amazon.com here.
I’d like to wish congratulations to my grade 8 students on graduating Middle School. I have taught several of them for a few years. I made this video for their graduation ceremony. Good luck in High School!
My grade 7s are wrapping up their unit on collage. It was sort of an extension from their line drawing unit, where we looked at how we can represent ideas in different forms and mediums. Overall, I’m pleased with the results. The collages were given a coat of gel medium for extra strength and binding. View via the slideshow below or directly through Flickr here.
Grade 9 have finished their unit on graphic design. To become familiar with Photoshop/Illustrator, tasks were set where students created a business card and a magazine cover. Students were encouraged to experiment and explore the different tools on their own. Their final project was to design a cover for the school handbook. View the slideshow below or via Flickr here.
Our grade 6 students have finished their unit on portrait painting. Their unit question was “How do our personal experiences shape our identity?” and our significant concept was “Our culture affects our identity.” With their paintings, students were to select and represent themselves either through identity, culture or emotion. Some of these aspects could have been achieved through background, pose, colour and brushwork etc.
I think the unit needs some refinement, especially with painting noses! Until I get to that, you can view the artwork through Flickr here. If interested, you can read two student reflections here and here. (Note: I co-teach the grade with my colleague Mr. W)
My grade 9s are kind of my experiment class. We do 4 units in the year (still-life drawing, landscape pastels, painting & graphic design). We’ve just completed the third unit on painting. This unit builds on the previous units and students were required to conduct their own research and experiment in a style they see fit, or inspired by. I decided to give them a choice on whether to paint a landscape or a still life. All worked from a reference photo, but have had to have taken the photo themselves. Students thought of inquiring questions regarding styles/movements/artists as well as techniques regarding paint.
They basically taught themselves and several learnt via YouTube. From this, it led them to conduct a few personal experiments and make choices on how to complete their summative piece. I simply guided from the side and offered simple feedback on their planning doc and whilst painting. An interesting note is that one student said “this is art, we should’ve have to do writing.” This student may be in for a surprise if they continue onto IB Art.
To be honest, some were very derivative of famous artist’s works, but I thought I’d take a step back to see what they would come up with. Most showed a marked improvement over their initial monotone still life painting that was done as a pre-assessment. I think the work was an improvement over last year, but I’m not sure if it was the learning process or individual student talent. Ideally, I’d like to have them create more than one piece, but unfortunately we must plough through : (
View the student work here via Flickr and feel free to read a student reflection from the unit hereandhere if interested. Is it interesting that several girls chose food?!