Monday, January 11, 2016

legos and You.

Before winter break, I introduced the 2nd graders to the work of South Korean artist Hyesoo You. As we looked at her relief and freestanding sculptures, we talked about the nature of abstract art and how different people see different things when viewing the same piece. We also talked about how Aaron Draplin's skateboard design implied 3d space by overlapping flat papers and Hyesoo's work uses actually 3d solids that may overlap each other to create actual depth and space.

I used this lesson as an exercise in team work and play. Students worked in teams of 3 or 4 and made temporary works that were inspired by Hyesoo's abstract compositions. Students worked together to come up with a cut paper grid that they placed on top of a larger geometric shape. Once they made their grid, students used legos to create mini sculptures to place on the grid. When teams were done building and positioning their individual pieces, I took photos of their work with my ipad and emailed them to their teachers.

Before letting the kids build, I talked about view point. When taking the photos of their sculptures I would have the camera directly over their sculpture, looking down on it. Because of this, I wanted them to think about if their sculptures were going to be more interesting to place on their grid standing up or laying down.

Students could build independently or collaboratively. Students could join their sculptures together with sculptures made by members of their team. After about 20 minutes of build time, I asked students to plan out where their pieces would be positioned on the grid. Once I took the photo of their set up, they could play with their creations for a few minutes before having to take everything apart for the next class.

After clean up, groups made a list of the kinds of 3d solids they used and could identify in their sculptures.

The level of engagement in the project was extremely high. I have a lego center in my room that is always busy with early finishers, so I knew most students would be pretty focused. Some groups had specific plans or ideas as to what they were building- cities, vehicles, spacecrafts, while others approached the project more freely. There were moments of frustration- beginning builders feeling intimidated, but there was almost always a "master" builder in their group that could help them get more comfortable with the process.