Thursday, November 6, 2014

rearranging the real.

This week, as part of my shape unit, the 3rd graders are looking at the differences between realistic and abstract style. I'm using two sources to assist me with this- the work of Thom Pastrano and the movie The Book of Life.

I start the lesson by using posters hanging in my room to illustrate the differences between the two styles. I talk about how an artist can rearrange reality and play with the shapes, colors, values, and textures of something to make it abstract.

I then share an image of one of the characters from the movie on my smartboard and we talk about how it looks real even though it is really a drawing. I then share a few of the posters Thom has sent me and we look at how he has rearranged and flattened shapes to make well known characters look abstract.

This, I tell the kids, is what we are going to do with the character of the day.

Students start with a collection of geometric shapes. We will alter some of them into more complex geometric shapes and some of them will become more natural looking shapes. I model each piece, emphasizing that if theirs looks different than mine, it's cool because we are making an abstract piece anyway:)

Students create all their shapes first and then play with them and move them around in different ways until they come up with a composition that works for them. Then we glue all those parts in place.

It's been a fun exercise in shape and style for the kids and myself. I'm doing a different character with each class, which will provide a nice amount of variety when they are displayed and it keeps me more engaged throughout the week too! When I see them next week I plan on having them do a compare/contrast activity with this project and the shape project they will complete during that session.

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