I needed a shorter length project to last me the 2 1/2 weeks I have between now and winter break. Annnnd, of course, I wanted to include a unit sometime this year about Piet Mondrian for all my students. Why? I’m slightly biased but I love his work – especially his post-war pieces with the lines and primary colors. No one should have to ask why but as a graphic designer, that kind of work appeals to me. I’m also a huge fan of Rothko.
Either way, I knew it would be a great unit that would not only emphasize line but also Primary Colors and shape. We started with a brief powerpoint of Mondrian’s post-war work. With a few example, I had the students describe the line they saw. Of course, all of them said straight but to clarify, I asked if any was wavy or zig zag – big no there, obviously.
I also asked about the colors; we first listed the five colors we saw every time: Red, Yellow, Blue, White, Black. But again, to clarify more of his work; I asked where we saw each color. It was decided that he left a lot of white at times but that the color was inside the shapes and that the lines were always across or up and down – not diagonal. The lines were always black in the work I showed.
From there, students went through the demo where I showed them how to use the glue stick on precut lines. I had every size and width so students could do what they want with them. Using the glue stick, they just go over the strip once and then place it across or up and down (not diagonal) on the paper. I’m using square paper just for the fun of it. Also; I told students that they could make the paper hang off the page to create different lengths and use the scissors to trim it later. This was a hit and students soon began making artwork that had a lot of variety.
From here we will add the primary colors to the artwork – how? I haven’t quite decided yet! But I’m sure it will be predictable. Students really enjoyed how black and white worked well together. I love how clean these turned out and I’m incredibly impressed how the lines stayed vertical and horizontal with my 1st graders.
Follow us to part two.