Friday, February 27, 2015


"Self-portait" by Troy's Work Table.


I taught art to third- and fourth-graders this afternoon. They are studying the culture of the Northwest Coast indigenous peoples, so we are exploring some of the art. We talked about the two main shapes (ovoids and "u"-forms); the two minor shapes (crescents and wedges); the overarching shape constructed by the others (formline). (And all of this shape work is an evolution of the drawings we did the couple of sessions prior). We talked about the four primary colors—black, white, red, and blue-green. We talked about which shapes are which colors. We talked about symmetry.

Then we talked about when to use the rules and when to break the rules, as we created paper-cut self-portrait "masks" in the art style of the Northwest Coast peoples. (We broke a lot of rules!)

Next week, each student will "adopt" an animal and create a mask of it. The following week(s) they will "translate" their animal onto a story pole, along with at least two other animals. Their class will also be taking a field trip to see totem poles and other native art.


(It now appears that the kids and I are all looking forward to art on Fridays in equal measure. Even some of my initially-resistant boys have come to asking when I'm coming into the classroom for art.)

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