5th Graders Become Designers

For our winter unit in 5th grade, I decided to approach this differently.  I did an advertising unit with 7th graders at my last school and I always love bringing that design and career component to the art room.  So rather than just create art, we are  becoming designers! We started off with a conversation about what we know about fashion.  The boys immediately groaned thinking this was a “girly” project so this is when I introduced Mittens, Gloves and Glittens.

We went through a power-point and studied the different types of mittens, gloves, and glittens.   More importantly we talked about the assumed but not confirmed origin of mittens (George Washington) as well as the best purpose known to us – SNOWBALL FIGHTS! Of course, I had fun with this by creating a definition that all of a sudden got not only the attention of the girls but man, all of a sudden the boys were on board!

I handed each students a sketch book, simple – pages stapled together and folded.  From there, they began developing their ideas.  They could choose to do a glove, a mitten or a glitten (glove with mitten cover).  To make it easy, most students started by tracing their hands and then going from there.  I definitely encouraged them to diagram their ideas – and if they didn’t like it, to move on from it and start a new idea.  They could have multiple ideas.  Using our table caddies, we could add color.  So many students had great ideas like:

-self warming
-cell phone holders
-watch built into the wrist of the glove so you didn’t have to lift it to know the time
-self storing
-mittens with speakers
-gloves with webbing to make the ultimate snowball
-gloves with individual fingers that peel back

Inventions aside, some students stuck to the fashion of it.  Either way, after two days of brainstorming (allows students to come back to their idea and see if they need to make changes), students began design their tags.  On the front of the tag they could work out their logo, company name or product name.  This laid a great foundation to talk about copyright and coming up with our own names/concepts rather than using others.  On the back of the tag, they  had to sell-sell-sell.  They could list reasons (what does your glove or mitten do that isn’t necessarily noticeable right away?), had to pick a price (under $20) and could include illustrations of what the gloves might do.

PLEASE click to see the descriptions given by my students.

So far, we are having a blast so I went to my principal to see what we could do about getting a handful of mittens, gloves and glittens.  She was totally in – so we are purchasing cheap gloves and mittens and each student will get one of what they need to make it happen.  They will then deconstruct and reconstruct their product using paints, other fabric, tissue paper, yarn, or any other material they see fit.  We will attach it to the tag and hang them for display and “purchase”.  It’s turning into a fabulous project that supplies a career path to students and wow – their creativity is running wild.  Stay tuned for their prototypes – great vocabulary lessons!

Follow us to parts two and three.


One response to “5th Graders Become Designers

  1. Pingback: 5th Grade Design Studio Grand Opening (In otherwords, 5th graders began their glove/mitten prototypes today.) | Art Class With LMJ·

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