My third graders began their final product inspired by Marz Jr. Starting off with a line drawing using permanent markers on nice white paper (donated by my dad’s firm).
We had emailed Marz Jr a couple of questions and he was incredibly kind to not only respond to the email, but write back promptly AND attach a letter for me to give to all our students. The content of the letter was a perfect set up for our work today. I encourage you to become familiar with his work – such a genuinely great artist.
First off, with permanent markers, students fear mistakes. But thanks to some discussions with Marz Jr, the students understood that the imperfections with ink can really turn into great ideas – I showed them as I was drawing my own building, how each little mistake gave through to a new idea and as they were working today, I didn’t have a single person want to start over. We reviewed architectural details you would find in tall buildings and I set them out to design their own.
My students really seem to be thriving off this project both because Marz Jr responded but because between my message and his message, students are really taking the creativity into their own hands. Something important that Marz talked about was how copying other work can be fun but because you aren’t drawing exactly the same, it can be frustrating and make you think you can’t draw – but as soon as you embrace your own creativity and your own drawing skills, you realize that your work is better than you thought. It was a great message to give to the students and they loved that it came from someone new – not just the same old me.
We will finish these drawings and then add a bright contrasted background with smaller buildings. My third graders want to send him one of the finished projects as a gift – I wonder how he’ll receive this idea! 🙂