Thursday, November 14, 2013

san diego patterns.

The 3rd graders are continuing their study of shape this week. They are focusing on natural shapes. We took a look at the work of Mitjili Napurulla to help us with our understanding of these types of shapes. Mitjili lives and works in the Haasts Bluff community in Northern Australia. Her artwork is rich in natural imagery and patterning.

I begin the lesson with a quick review of the mudcloth project they did last week that was inspired by the work of Nakunte Diarra. As students recall vocab and concepts I write them on the white board, so they can refer to them later when completing their exit slips.

When I introduce Mitjili and her work, I write key vocab under the mudcloth concepts for easy compare and contrast. Students notice there are not nearly as many geometric shapes in her work, she uses a wide range of colors, and she repeats shapes to make patterns. These patterns often symbolize things from Mitjili's home and history. I remind the classes that Nakunte's patterns also represented things from her history and culture.


The students are to make a natural shape pattern design inspired by Mitjili's work. However, they will use natural forms from San Diego to create their designs and patterns. I share with them photos of torrey pines, jade plants, agaves, cacti, and beach side cliffs. These images, as well as completed examples are on the smartboard while students are creating their designs. Students may also base their patterns on other San Diego related natural shapes.


Before they start patterning, I have the students fold their paper into equal quarters and label them as fractions like they did last week. When they draw their patterns, one of the 3 should take up 1/2 the paper, while the other 2 take up 1/4 each.


Once the drawing is done, students add color with oil pastels. The color choices are entirely up to them.

When their coloring is done, students complete an exit slip that asks them to identify similarities between the 2 focus artists' work and it asks them to identify how their design is different than Mitjili's.












6 comments:

  1. Love how you are fitting in the common core standards. This is super helpful as I have no idea how to do it. Love all your lesson inspiration ideas.

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    1. thanks! my goal is to have all my lessons aligned with common core from now on. I was intimidated at first, wading through all the grade level standards, but i'm getting the hang of it. i've also been collaborating with grade level teachers to help me make authentic connections with the ccs. I love checking out all your ideas too, your blog is fantastic:)

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  2. Such an authentic way to teach/reinforce repetition. I love that you had the kids use symbols from their own environment.

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    1. thanks Christie. I've been trying to refer back to San Diego and the region more in my lessons this year. It makes the concepts more authentic.

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  3. This is an excellent process for the children to follow. I am inspired. Many thanks.

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  4. I think you are doing an amazing job by teaching this to children. They can learn a lot from this and develop themselves through it. Good work.

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