Sometimes things just don't work out in the art room, even when you think you have things all planned out. This lesson was one of those times.
I was excited to do a project with my 4th graders that was inspired by a series of ads Blattner Brunner did for Lego a few years ago.
An exercise that focused on diagonals and tints and shades to make shapes 3d. An exploration between geometric and natural shapes. Abstract vs. more realistic contours. A chance to discuss fractions in sculpture and drawing. In other words... way too much stuff going on!
We did guided practice drawings of individual lego blocks first. I emphasized really keeping their drawn lego creation simple. Keep it to around 7 or so blocks and use the detail in the cast shadow to really tell the viewer what they were looking at.
The kids did great with the guided practice, but so many got lost when they were asked to combine blocks together to create a different shape. Many attempted block forms that were way to complicated with too many shapes. I should have done more guided practice of adding shapes together. They had done a project earlier in the year (Marz Jr. inspired architectural drawings), so the use of line to make 3d forms should not have been foreign to them. For some reason, I didn't anticipate the confusion that happened.
I did the lesson with one class, then did it with one more, making sure to emphasize simplicity in their lego form. After the second class, I decided to switch to this snowperson project, which still emphasized 3d form through light and dark, but abandoned the perspective aspect. If I were to attempt something like this again, I would use at least 2 class periods, so kids had more time to practice. I hate having projects take up multiple class periods though, since I see each class about 10-12 times a year due to our school size.
If students completed the project early I encouraged them to then build their lego drawing with legos from my classroom lego center.
Below are pics of some of the more successful projects.