My seventh graders have been struggling to display positive behaviors during Art (and every other subject at my school). Every once in a while, you teach a group of students that is just really, really difficult. I have no explanation for it. . .And, I’m on year two of this particular group. Individually, they are an awesome group of kids (whom I love), but collectively they can really make my eye twitch. Like, a lot. Oh, well, there is also the fact that my seventh grade class sizes are 42 students and 43 students, respectively (think that might contribute?!).
Since there have been so many seventh grade hallway fights and incidences of inappropriate touch (you can only imagine what I can’t write about!), I’ve taken to running a really tight, specific, ship during my seventh grade Art block. It isn’t really my teaching style to be so draconian, but I have to be able to keep everyone safe too. The students come in, sit down, and they do not leave their seats until I dismiss them. Every material they need is provided to them, and clean-up consists of what they can do from their seat. It makes for a lot more more, planning, and prep for me. . .But, it is soo worth it to have a productive and safe seventh grade block.
As such, I’ve had to change quite a few of the planned lessons for this year. This particular project was a mash up of “what can they do from their seat,” and “what random stuff can I use in the supply closet?” My students have been begging to paint, so I threw together this little project to give them a taste of everything. Also, I wanted them to focus on honing their drawing skills (I like to introduce realism-based drawing skills via the grid-drawing method), but I didn’t want to spend three days on drawing grids (you know it happens). I made up a quick little trick to avoid drawing grids. woot! Oh, also, the beginning collage part of this project is inspired by this project from That Artist Woman (read her blog now!).
-clear overhead transparencies (remember those?)
-white copy paper
-leftover pieces of matboard that are too small to use for mats
-gesso (I had an old can, but also made a mix of white tempera/glue/water when I ran out)
-4″ x 6″ black and white photos of student faces
|The dry materials needed, yo.|
Take a picture of each student’s face. Print out 4″ x 6″ on copy paper. Print out a 4″x6″ rectangle 0.5″ grid for each student on white paper (you can get 2 per page, I also lightened the gird a lot for the white paper print-out). Print out a 4″x6″ grid on clear transparency for each student (you can get 2 per page). You will need all of this later.
Students cut out images from magazines that they liked, represented them, and/or spoke to them in some manner and glued them to their board.
Students coated their collaged board with a thin coat of gesso.
Students painted a gradient with cake tempera. I had my choose between yellow-red or blue-purple.
|It makes more sense when you see a picture, yes?|
Students lined up their clear transparency grid on top of their picture print-out. Students used the “grid-method” to draw their face onto their white grid paper.
Students trace faces with permanent marker.
Students cut out faces.
Students glued faces to dried board.
Students cut out the letters of their first name from magazines, and glued to board.
My students got very serious about their drawings once they realized that 1) they had to draw themselves, and 2) I told them I was going to “hang up every single one!” (but, no, not really).