This cycle, my 6th graders are finishing up their most extensive and involved project in their curriculum. While I don’t necessarily think that longer lessons are ideal for students I see every 6 school days, this one in particular has been a favorite of mine both because it excites the kids and teaches them a magnitude of concepts, mediums, and techniques.
The top image is a student’s example of artwork that fills expectations, in some ways it exceeds. The bottom image, a lighter copy, lists the different materials and what we discussed each time I saw them. They are numbered in order of when we did each. Students began with a “blank slate” and used geometric and organic forms to fill their design and then fold the paper into eight equal spaces. In each space they explore a new material and carry on the information from the previous section (as best they can). Students are encouraged and asked to carry on their color choices from shape to shape. This doesn’t always happen but the use of techniques is always apparent. The students get excited about what material is going to come next, what they didn’t realize was possible and how it begins to turn out towards the end. You truly can see an improvement of understanding from start to finish.