Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Educreations- How to Make a Video Tutorial

Have you been thinking about creating a video lesson that you can share with your students? Or maybe you want a new way to review before an assessment. Or your looking for a way to give additional assistance to struggling students. I have  an easy to use app to share with you. Maybe it can help you

It's called Educreations. And it's an easy to use app that lets you turn your IPad into an record-able, interactive whiteboard. You can easily make video tutorials that  let you explain, diagram, draw, add text or add commentary to any lesson with the simple touch of a button. It has a great array of features that includes: voice recording, the ability to import of multiple images, editing tools, the ability to embed your tutorial into your teacher website.

You can also browse through the Educreations archives. You'll find some examples of featured tutorials showcasing how teachers have used the app. Great for inspiring your own creations.

The best of all- Educreations is free!

You can take a look at a tutorial I made. I use it to introduce a portrait lesson to my 6th graders.

Do you think Educreations would work in your art room? I'd love to hear how you'd use this app.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Drawing 1 Point Perspective

 Your dream bedroom 

What would your dream bedroom look like? That's the first question I ask the kids when we start our 1 point perspective lesson. And wow, the kids really come up with a lot of different ideas for  the answer to that question.

Working with rulers

This lesson involves a lot of ruler work. (Math connection, yea!) So before we start working with the ruler, I review our vocabulary words- vertical, horizontal and diagonal. They usually are familiar with them, but it's good to review. Knowing them helps to place the ruler correctly on the paper when we begin measuring.

We start off the room by drawing in a 2 inch horizontal margin for the ceiling and floor. Then we draw in 3 inch vertical margins for the two side walls. That leaves us with a 8 x 12 rectangle in the middle of the paper for the back wall. The vanishing point is placed in the center of the rectangle. Four orthogonals are then drawn from the vanishing point to give the room that 3D effect.

What's required in the room?


The lesson requires that the rooms all have a bed, door, and a window- all aligned to the vanishing point. The rooms also have to have some kind of a light source. The window, though, can be turned into a flat screen or a poster to fit individual styles.

The beds all have to be located in the center of the room. I'm not trying to be a Grinch. I've tried giving them the option to place the bed on the right or left, but it's just me in a room of 28 students. Yikes! It became too hard to deal with all the issues and problems that popped up with  beds being placed all over the page. So, therefore, all beds are placed in the center. They can develop their individual styles in other areas of the room. And believe me, they do!

This lesson lets the kids really create their own style, no bedrooms ever look alike!

 Do you think making these bedrooms  would work in your art class? How do you teach 1 point perspective? Let me know in the comment section.

Do you need a lesson on 2 point perspective? Check this out here. And here's another one right here.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Mask Making- Chinese Opera Masks

Masks are a great project to do with middle school kids. The question is "What kind of mask should we make?'

If you're like me, when you start planning for a mask project you probably have a lot of questions floating around in your mind. 

'They're so many styles of medium to use and try out.'

'You get to learn about different cultures from around the world. Which culture should we tackle in this lesson?'

'What type of masks should we do this time?' 

One type of mask my students enjoy making are Chinese Opera Masks. Below are some that I made in my art class this year. It might be something you might want to try in your art room.


Background of the Chines Opera
Here is some basic background knowledge about the Chinese Opera I give to the kids before we start the lesson.

Chinese Opera dates back to the 14th century. It was a highly stylized drama that included dialogue, mime, swordplay, song, instrumentals, dance and acrobatics. The stories included tales of history, legend and literature. The sets are extremely simple, with few props or scenery on stage.

The Characters

The characters are distinguished on the basis of age, sex and personality. There are four types of main roles: sheng (main male), dan (young female), jing (painted face,secondary male) and chou (clown, male or female). The characters may be loyal or treacherous, beautiful or ugly, good or bad; their image/characteristics being symbolized through their costume and vivid makeup.

The Costumes

The types of wigs and makeup worn by the actors actually revealed character attributes and personality traits. The costumes worn conveyed meaning and emotion for the characters. The audience would understand through the costumes the characters rank in society; occupation and personal qualities of good and evil; wise or foolish. Even the headdress represented  a character's place in society- the more elaborate the style, the more important the character.

Starting the lesson

Because the characters in the Chinese Opera are so fixed and stylized I always have a discussion about them before we start this lesson. This helps them get an idea of what type of character they would like to make. We first talk about the four types of characters. Then review the symbolism of the colors of the make up the characters will wear. 

Color Symbolism of the Chines Opera

Blue- staunch, fierce
Yellow- ambition, cool headed
Purple- upright, just, noble
Red- devotion, courage, bravery, loyal
Green- impulsive, violent, stubborn, lack of self restraint

I don't require that the kids follow the Chinese symbolism. But I do teach them about it. I let them make up their own color symbolism; which they have to explain to me when they hand their project in.

We've made Chinese Opera Masks before, using plaster cloth from the Blick catalog. But this year the plaster cloth wasn't included in my budget, so I had to use a different technique. We started using paper mache masks for our base, sketched in their facial features and started painting on top of the paper mache using tempera paint.


 The Headdress

We create the headdress and hair on oak-tag cardboard. They measure it to the paper mache mask first. Then they sketch it out their design in pencil. Lastly, it's also painted with tempera paint.


We finish the masks by gluing the mask to the cardboard headdress with a hot glue gun.  If they want plastic jewels, those too are glued on with a glue gun.

Would making Chinese Opera Masks something that would work in your middle school art class? Let me know what kind of masks you make. I'd love to hear about it.