Saturday, October 27, 2012

Illuminated Letters- A History and Art Collaboration

An example of the Interlace style of illumination

A Great Collaboration

I love having the students create Illuminated Letters because it incorporates history and art. A great collaboration! I also get to show them examples of some beautifully illuminated old books. My favorite!

As an introduction, the students  watch a  Prezi that has background information on different Illuminated Manuscripts and how they were made. They also see examples of Illuminated Letters (some old, some new). The presentation breaks down the Illuminated letters into three types of styles. 

3 Styles of Illumination

The following are the three styles of Illumination that I introduce the kids to.

1. Interlace Style- using vines, flowers, thorns and leaves to embellish your letter.

2. Figurative Style- animals or people are incorporated into the letter. The letters below have incorporated people into them, but the can also use their favorite animals.

3. Historical Style- having an historical event or scene designed into or around the letter.

A NASA themed illuminated letter in historical style 

The students get to choose the style they want to use. Later on, after they've finished, they have to explain with an 'Artist Statement' how their letter has incorporated that style.

There are so many ways to make Illuminated Letters, either 3D or 2D. I've shown you some examples of using oil pastels and water color and some that are drawn in colored pencil. You probably can think of other ways to create them using different medium.


   Example of Figurative style of illumination

Here's the link to the Prezi I show my class when we start working on this lesson. 

             How do you teach Illuminated Letters? Would this work in your classroom? I'd love to know.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

My Objective

I've been thinking... ( I know, that can be dangerous at times.)

I spend many hours every week teaching, preparing to teach and assessing what I have taught. Why do I do it?

Well,  after all this thought, I've decided!

Here's my objective.

I'm not teaching art to my students; I'm teaching my students to think like an artist.

What do you think? Do you have an objective as a teacher?

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Below The Surface- Art and Science Connection

Here's a fun and educational art project that connects with science- There's more happening below the surface, then what we see.

Let the students explore what goes on underground or under the sea. They'll be amazed that there's a whole world of activity that we never see.

The student can pick an mammal, insect, reptile or fish.  Make a horizon line in the middle of the paper. Then they can create the animal's world above and their habitat below.

Or here's a different take- the arctic landscape below and the aurora borealis above.

I also have the students work with blending analogous colors with this project too.

 What do you think about this art project? Let me know!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Art Objectives- Sticky Note Them!

The objectives the students have to meet are always displayed in sentence form by the Elmo on the front white board. But there is another way of displaying the project objectives.

Read on if you want to find out more.

Sticky notes objectives on a graphic design project

Samples of art projects we're working on are always displayed on the class board. (A lot of students leave their projects behind. Yeah, for me! I always have extra samples around.) One good reason for displaying a sample is for motivation. I figure, if the students see another student who has done a great job, maybe it will get them thinking, they can too!

A sneaky teacher trick.  Some things can be very contagious in middle school. Why not  motivation and self belief?

"Hey, If fill in the blank can do it, so can I." 

Sticky notes on a 2 point perspective lesson

My other reason for displaying samples is to let the students see (again) what the objectives are that they need to meet. This is where the sticky notes come in.

I place small sticky notes on the sample project to highlight what the objectives are for the project. 

For example, on the bedroom below (there's also one up above)- there are sticky notes that point out a door and window  aligned to the vanishing point. They are both an objective. A bed aligned to the vanishing point, which is also an objective. 

If anyone asks me to go up and look closer at the sample, they're welcome to go up and look.

It's a two for one- a sample project with the objective right there.

So you can see, you can easily point out an objective by putting on a sticky note on a sample.

Sticky notes on a 1 point perspective lesson

The giant whiteboard display of objectives are written out in sentence form.  The sticky note display allows the students to see how someone else achieved the objectives on an actual project, but in a visual way. Not text. And they're seeing it up close and personal.

Would this work for your project objectives? How do you display your objectives?  You can let me know in the comments below!