I been getting to grasps with a lot of marking over the Easter break like I'm sure many others teachers have as well. I thought I'd post a little article about my Yr. 9's and the Natural Form project they have just completed.
A little background about this project first of all. At our school the Yr. 9's move to upper site (Yr.10) in June and as a result they have had to make the choices for their GCSE's in March. This means that Yr. 9's that have chosen your subjects to do their GCSE course next will buckle down and start to take my rt lessons a bit more seriously, while the students that have not chosen art as a GSCE subject next year do not see the point in being in the lesson and often goof off or end up being disruptive in lessons.
This project, designed for the Yr.9 classes, also doubles for their first piece of their GSCE course work. As a result, I have noticed that the students tended to take this piece of work much more seriously especially at this transitioning point of time in their schooling career. Yes there still was a few students that tried to mess about and disrupt others learning. However, the point was easily made to them that although they might not be taking GCSE art others in the class were and they needed to behave in order to give their class mates the best opportunity to learn. This seemed to work. I also think because students got to use new materials and experiment in drawing this also held their interest.
About the project:
Students were challenged to understand drawing by drawing from Natural Form Objects (shells, nuts, tree bark etc...). Many students initially thought that drawing was merely mark making on paper with a pencil. In student speak, 'A pretty picture drawn on paper with a pencil.' However, I challenged students to really think about what makes a drawing with a power point based on drawing. I do not have a full power point to put on my website yet, http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Mark-Schmidt
but hopefully soon. Most of the students left thinking about what really constitutes drawing.
Next lesson, working from real objects, students began their drawings in the traditional way mapping out the outline of the form with pencil and paper. Stopping the students early they then switched between black and white chalk to start to create form. Over the 6 lessons the students had to complete this project they explored drawing with: coffee, paints, chalks, charcoal, India Inks and tissue paper. From this project, as a teacher, I noticed and believe students learnt to take risks through correcting their mistakes with different materials which increased their self confidence, see and analyse what is in front of them rather than what they think they see (this is always a hard one to get across to students) and expanded their own beliefs of what drawing is. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this project and from the feed back I got from the students i believe they did as well. I would definitely select less delicate objects for students to draw from next time though, as quite a few of mine ended up broken.
I have included some of my students work below for your viewing pleasure.
If you have any questions, comments or concerns please leave me a message.