October 6, 2010

Projecting a Better Lesson

Bigger is better at least when it comes to showing art to large groups! Last year, I begged my husband to get me a projector for Christmas. We found a refurbished on on Ebay for the right price.  It is one of the best things I've ever invested in for the art room.

A few days ago, I tried to teach students about geometric vs organic shapes using a lesson from Therese at Pezzettino called Happy Accidents! (If you have not checked out Therese's blog you have to hop over now it is brilliant!) It is a wonderful lesson so I wasn't sure why our results were not so wonderful. The students' pictures lacked movement AND when I asked them what geometric shapes were they looked at me blankly! Not one bilingual fifth grader knew. So I decided to take a step back and reteach. This time I made a slideshow that talks about geometric and organic shapes and took pictures of the process of making the art. I put it to music and the kids loved it. Some classes begged to watch it twice.

I cannot figure out how to share the slideshow from iPhoto so I'll share just a few of the pics.

Draw geometric shapes using "criteria":)

Outline geometric shapes in thin sharpie and spray with water.

Watch organic shapes form and (when dry) outline with sharpie.

I got this image from The Art of Education thanks Jessica!

Here is the criteria for the lesson.

Criteria 1: Include 3 sizes of each geometric shape to show distance.
Criteria 2: Shapes go OFF the page to make viewer use their imagination.
Criteria 3: Overlap geometric shapes to show distance.
Criteria 4: Make geometric shapes on a diagonal to show movement.

Projected large and with some cool music the kids were totally engaged! I was totally excited that they started making interesting compositions and could identify basic vocabulary after the lesson. 

If you know how to share slideshows or Power Points on blogger please let me know so I can share them with you!

Better yet, if you make Power Points and want to share them with me please include a link! 

Thanks Blogger Friends!


therese english perdue said...

I'm SO glad you tried this lesson! I totally understand the problems you ran into! Last year, the 3rd grade teachers came to me to teach geometric forms and it took a lot of practice and re-teaching for the kids to get it down- that's why I felt confidant doing this project with 'the now' 4th graders since they've gone through that practice. But it's definitely a toughie!

I LOVE the idea of using a powerpoint with music- that sounds so fun! I hope you find out how to post them- I would love to see it... I sort of have an addiction to making powerpoints... hehe! Oh and I love your criteria points, I'm definitely going to borrow some of those points the next time I teach it! Thanks Erica! :)

Unknown said...

Whew! So glad you didn't mind me reposting your idea! My problem was not in the project just to be clear (because it is one of their favs now) it was tha there were too many kids to see. And they'd rather watch T.V. than me! I might start to make some video demos with "cool" music to engage them so it will be like watching T.V. Too many ideas. . .you know how it is:)

LT said...

This is such an awesome lesson! I am totally going to adapt it for my students. Thank you for sharing!

Mrs. Hahn said...

ooo! What a great idea! Do you mind if I use it? This could be really fun! You ROCK Erica!

Unknown said...

Not my lesson! It's Therese's! Click on her pic to check it out or check out the link in the post. I wish I could send you my slideshow it was so cool! Do you know how? Who here is a computer genius and can figure out how to share a iphoto slideshow or powerpoint?

Christie - Fine Lines said...

I LOVE this project and your idea of having a Power Point to go with it. I would also like to know how to upload PP to Blogger. I hope someone lets you know how!! I also liked Theresa's idea of using the Toolkit at Arts Connected to help show kids the difference between organic and geometric. The Toolkit is good for other concepts, too. I have it on my classroom webpage and the kids used it a LOT last year.
I saw this art idea somewhere else recently and tried it out myself to see how long it would take for the kids to do the outlining. In addition to dropping some water on the paper, I sprayed water lightly from a spray bottle. That gave some really interesting small organic, spidery shapes to trace around, although it did take a bit longer to complete. Anyway, thanks for sharing.

Susan Bivona, Art Teacher said...

I think you should check out SCRIBD, http://www.scribd.com/about
Slide Share
to post your powerpoints!
Love the project!

Unknown said...

Thanks Susan! I will check those out this long weekend for sure!!!

xinme said...

What a cool idea!

Megan said...

I love this project and can't wait to try it with my students! What kind pf paper did you use?

Unknown said...

Megan check out There's blog link above you'll love it. I used some heavy card stock.

Anonymous said...

This lesson made the Weekly Top Twenty best art lessons over at The Art Fairy.
Come by and pick up your button if you get a chance. Great lesson!