6th Grade Exploring Materials Project

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.

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5 responses to “6th Grade Exploring Materials Project

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  4. HI 🙂

    I think I missed some info in the example…does the student draw the entire layout in pencil first then fold and add different media? and did this take them longer than a class periods? I have 6th,7th, and 8th grade classes once a week for 50 minutes. I am trying to introduce them to many types of media and because I don’t get a lot of time with them…this project seems condensed enough to introduce them to lots of new ideas.

    • I may have missed including that info! The project layout and folding was done all in one period. And some mediums were combined into two days. So for instance, crayons and colored pencils were introduced in the same day, each one being a 20 min chunk with a 2-3 min intro. Tempera paint, though, due to clean up, was one day with a huge emphasis on blending. Charcoal and permanent marker were combined when possible unless students wanted more time. Does this make sense?

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