Wednesday, September 19, 2012

leggo my lego.

Last week the 4th graders created a design using patterns and different types of lines to make certain parts stand out. This week I wanted to see them apply these elements to something that looked more real.

Enter my kids' legos:)

I began class by reviewing how the students used diagonal lines last week to make shapes look like rooftops of buildings. We then created a 2 practice drawings. One making a box look 3d from the front and the other from a corner edge. I emphasized the importance of the diagonal lines in these 2 drawings. If you don't use any the shape will NOT look real. I also stressed the importance of the diagonals being consistent with each other.

I then talked about what a still life is. Showed the kids a few examples, and then told them we would use diagonals and line patterns to observe a still life and draw it.

I used my presenter to show them a lego block. I moved the camera so they could see it from an angle up on my dry erase board. I then traced the shape, soliciting the steps from the students as I drew. Once the shape was complete, I removed the lego so they could see the drawing by itself. The kids thought that was pretty cool. Again, I reminded them that it was the use of diagonals that made the drawing look so real.

I then put the block back on the presenter and added a couple more shapes to the set up. We drew it together. We revisited the different geometric solids that made up the shapes- cubes, rectangular prisms, cylinders, etc. Some of the classes even picked up on the obtuse angles present in some of the set ups.

I stressed the importance of drawing the shapes large enough on their paper, so to eliminate too much empty space in their compositions. I also discussed moving the shapes around in their drawings. They could place the shapes differently than they actually saw them. This is more creative for them, and more interesting for me when I look at 150 of them.

This activity challenged the kids, but they all hung in there and did a great job with it. I have seen many students struggle with using diagonals correctly to make things look like they have volume and depth. By tracing the shapes out on the whiteboard as the students followed along worked well. It may seem a little cheaty, but I really wanted them to see how these lines were present in a real life set up.

Once students finished with the shapes, they traced the contours and added line patterns of different value to each of the shapes to make them look even more real.

A special thanks goes out to Logan and Aurora for letting me play with their legos for a few days:)


  1. tracing them on the whiteboard was brilliant.
    i'm doing this next week- about to start perspective, thanks!

  2. Very cool idea. I use Legos in clay and printmaking, why not perspective drawing?

  3. Wow wish I'd thought of that! Seriously that is an awesome idea. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Very clever, D. ILOVE lego's!


  5. This is such a hard concept for so many kids... congratulations! you've come up with an approach that works! :)