Teaching perspective. It is the bane of many an Art teacher’s practice. Throughout elementary, middle, and high school the topic of perspective is a common theme in the Art standards of any state. As a group, we seem to have teaching atmospheric perspective down. I see varied, interesting, provocative, and intriguing lessons about atmospheric perspective all the time. But, Art teachers seem a bit stuck on varying lesson types for linear perspective.
Teaching perspective, which has roots in science and geometry, isn’t easy. Perspective tasks students with tapping into the more math-oriented parts of their brains. This is frustrating for some students, unattractive for others, and almost impossible for a few (I was in the impossible group as a kid). So, when it comes to teaching perspective are we too challenged? Or, are we just bored of teaching perspective? I suspect that the answer lies somewhere between the two.
Teacher boredom = poor student artwork.
Engaged teacher = dynamic student work.
We know the more engaged we are, the better the student work. So, ERMERGERHD, why (why!) are we using the same three-four tired lesson plans to teach perspective?! Aside from the fact that students attend school for 13 years and probably are repeating these same lame-o lessons at least 2-3 times each, there are waaay better ways to teach perspective. Like, for reals, y’all. WAAY better ways.
And, if you are nervous about teaching perspective because thinking in three dimensions just ain’t your thang (and you’re not alone; it’s not my thang either). . .We live in the 21st century. You have “the googles.” You are reading #arted blogs. There are tons of amazing resources –and teacher tutorials- for teaching perspective in compelling ways!!
And, I’m putting together a master list of my favorite perspective lessons for you. So, you’ve got nothing left but excuses.
First, try to avoid the over-played, perspective lessons (unless you’ve got some fresh twist on em). You know what they are:
~1 pt perspective room / Van Gogh’s bedroom
~1 pt perspective building on a corner
~1 pt perspective road/river/gate that disappears at the vanishing point
~1 pt or 2 pt letters/name in space
~1 pt or 2pt geometric shapes/dice in space
Here is a list of awesome, fresh, compelling, and provocative ways to teach perspective that are guaranteed to interest your students AND help you feel successful as a perspective-teaching Art educator:
Utterly perplexed by how to explain perspective to students?
Are you a perspective expert? Need an “extra” challenge for your students?