Wednesday, August 25, 2010

everybody rotate.

Every year I like to do one stained glass window inspired project with at least one grade level. This year I found a project by checking out the wonderful Mrs. Brown's art blog. She is an elementary school art teacher who posts about the very engaging projects she does with kids in kinder through 5th grade.

Mrs. Brown had her 4th graders create stained glass designs that used their names as the repeated design element to create an image that demonstrated an understanding of rotational or radial symmetry.

When I presented this project to  my 4t grade classes I showed them numerous stained glass designs from past and present that demonstrated rotational symmetry.
I also discussed how some of these stained glass windows use complementary colors to create visual contrast in the designs. This contrast makes certain parts of the windows "pop out" against one another and it creates necessary variety in their design.

1.  use a compass or trace a plate to create the outer edge of the window
2.  locate the center of the design and draw lines to split it in half, then quarters, then eighths 
3.  in one "pie piece" or eighth, write your name in block letters or other type. space it equally so that it reaches the center. each letter should touch the top and bottom of the pie piece
4. repeat until all pie pieces are filled
5. trace all letters and outer circle edge with a black sharpie
6. trace outer edge and at least one letter in each pie piece with a thicker marker to add more variety to the design
7. using complementary colors, fill in the stained glass design. press firmly with crayons or colored pencils to make the colors intense and bold
8. cut out the circle and glue it to a neutral gray so that the stained glass design stands out from its surrounding. you may also choose to not glue it on to another sheet and hang the windows as circles

The kids got a big kick out of this project. It was challenging for them to get their names consistently drawn in each of the pieces, but they enjoyed seeing how by simply repeating one element, their name, they could create something that was visually striking.

1 comment:

  1. They look great! I really like the idea of having them use complimentary colors. :)