Lines and Letters – 2nd Grade

My second graders are learning all about shape, line, and space!

We started the project off with a tutorial on how to make simple bubble letters.  Simply, students wrote their first initial large on the paper using capitalization.  Then they drew a line around the letter, leaving space between the letter and the new line.  Finally, they erased the original letter, leaving just the bubble letter.

Some students had more challenging letters like O, P, B, Q, R, D, and A.  These all have an “inside” part to their letter that students need to be reminded to also outline around.

When students returned the second day, we started our journey with line.  First we defined the word line by talking about types of line and how there are so many ways to describe line but it’s really hard to define.  So, of course, we dissected the process of how to make a line.

First you start with a dot.

What do you do with the dot to make a line?

Push it. Pull it. Stretch it….MOVE IT!

So we come up with a very straightforward definition – A line is a dot that moves. I love this definition because it allows the dot to do whatever it wants versus restricting it to “straight” or “zig zag”.  It’s short and simple – students remember it.  I use it often.

After we define the word line, I have students come up with lines we could use and they draw them on the Smart Board. After that, we sit down at my demo table and we talk about line designs within our letter.  The rules? Simple:

1. Do not go outside of the letter. (Great opportunity to talk about “space” – more on that later in the project!)
2. No scribbling! If your marker is moving fast, you are probably scribbling…SLOW DOWN!

I show them examples of this, of course, and they all get a marker.  A marker? Why not pencils, you ask! Because! Using a marker in an exercise like this is an excellent opportunity to talk about mistakes and how in art, they can sometimes be the best part of our projects.  How do we fix our mistakes? How can we change our original idea?  What can we do to make the mistake a new idea?  Great questions and students spend less time say “I messed up!” and more time thinking “Whoa – now that was neat!”

Next time, we explore COLOR within our line design and furthermore, shapes and complimentary colors within our background!

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