Thursday, March 21, 2013

5th grade Symmetrical Bugs!

I went to the Texas Art Education Association (TAEA) conference in 2011 in Galveston, TX.  It was my first year teaching and I was so excited to be a part of the art teacher community!  At that conference, I attended a workshop that presented this lesson.  I was glad to finally use it this year with my fifth graders.  I tweaked a few things here and there to add my own spin to it.

I started by teaching about patterns, emphasis, and balance.  We examined insects and how their bodies are symmetrical. Students were asked to look for patterns, colors, and to make observations about the insects.  The next step was to create our space on heavy watercolor paper cut to 12X12 inches.  We measured a double border and outlined it with black sharpie.  This was quite a challenge!  It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be for students to measure using the rulers!  Once a few students who caught on quickly finished, they helped other students and we all got our borders drawn!

Next, students lightly drew a line of symmetry down their interior space.  I had a bunch of black and white clip art pictures of insects on a two-sided paper and passed those out for references.

The objectives:
1.  Students would draw a bug from a the top side and make it symmetrical.  They were not allowed to use rulers.  I guided them in noticing the positive and negative space created by the insect, hoping it would help them keep the line of symmetry.
2. Create an interesting pattern or design on the insect.  The design was not to be realistic, but it did need to be symmetrical on each side.
3. Create emphasis by making the insect the most important visual aspect of the work.  Students could create a design in the border, background, and add color using colored pencils and watercolor, but the insect needed to be the main focus.
Here are some examples of our work:

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