Wednesday, October 16, 2013

dream machines... in 3d.

This week the 5th graders are continuing their work with line. In particular, how you can use diagonal lines to make shapes look 3d on a piece of paper.

This year I am working with 2 classes at once. While I have half of 2 classes, their classroom teachers have time to work with the other half in a small group setting. This week I have been pitting class against class in a line recall game at the beginning of class. Last week we used line to do at least 3 different things in our jellyfish paintings. Each group was given a dry erase board and marker and asked to work as a team to recall what they did. This was fun. I gave them a couple minutes and then they took turns sharing what they had. No half group has gotten all the correct responses, but most have put them together as a whole group. I have been looking for shape, movement, and unity.

After this warm up, I share some of LA based artist Souther Salazar's work with them. We tlak about how his work looks like fantasy/fiction. We have been looking closely at his drawing, "Alejandro and the Dream Machine". I have asked the classes to tell me if anything in the drawing looks 3d. Most students agree that the machine looks 3d and the other parts look flat. Then we talk about why it looks 3d. How the use of diagonals turns a flat shape into a 3d one. I share the concept of perspective, so that kids can see how those diagonals would eventually meet outside the shape. We have been reviewing types of lines- horizontal, vertical, diagonal, and parallel.

The students' job is to create their own dream machine and dream setting to go with it. The goal of the exercise is to get them familiar with how to construct 3d solids and to recognize the difference between objects that look 3d and ones that look flat.

We drew out the basic body and machine together. When we draw out the 3d shape, I point out certain angles that are made and what students have noticed is that they see acute and obtuse angles on present. If they do the shape correctly, each line segment on the side of their shape should have an acute at one end and an obtuse at the other.

Then students add details to make their drawing unique. The lines of the machine are traced in black. The final step is to add a fantasy background with white lines.

Students complete an exit slip at the end of the activity to reflect on their learning activity.

                                           The background, indeed, did have more bacon:)


  1. What a great project!! Thanks :)Elizabeth

  2. Those turned out great - what a neat idea.

  3. thank's for your information and i like your post

  4. Love these- perfect for the age group!