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.
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.
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.