November 17, 2010

Easy Project You Can Do Tomorrow: Collaborative Radial Designs

Here's an easy project you can do tomorrow with paper, markers, rulers and cooperative kids.

I originally got the idea for a radial design project from Mrs. Hahn at Mini Matisse. Here's another great lesson on Radial Symmetry from Therese at Pezzettino. I made THIS adaptation to teach my students to work together and to do something meaningful in their extra 1/2 hour of art time.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Why an extra 1/2 hour of art?  As an art teacher you know that art time is synonymous with classroom teacher's plan time. So when a teacher doesn't have enough plan time in their schedule, I see their kids for an extra 1/2 hour. My favorite thing to do in this time is test simple projects that I like from your blogs. 

1. Make an X and draw a line through the center X so there are 6 sections.
2. Briefly discuss radial symmetry.
3. Students choose ONE marker.
4. Students make ONE simple shape or line in every section or on every line to create radial symmetry.
5. When finished (in about a minute) pass the paper on to the next person.

Passing the art.

I sat at one of the tables and participated. The timing worked surprisingly well when students passed at their on pass. We only had a few traffic back ups and we all adjusted until everyone had a paper.

We passed the papers, creating radial designs until we forgot which one we started with and the time ran out. The room was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. That might have been because I bribed the quietest table with a free choice art next week though!

Finally we talked about what we noticed by doing this exercise.
"I noticed that when the "good" one came to me I tried really hard to do my best." 
"I noticed I couldn't remember which one was mine."

The design we "tried really hard" on at our table.

Stay Tuned: We've been working on collaborative mural painting (all in a 1/2 hour.) It's like an improvisational dance. Each kid has one color paint. Students stand in a circle around a large square paper with their paintbrush and paint. Two students start at the center of the mural paper. The rest of the group counts to 30 silently then makes a sound (we use a click) to signal change. The two painters step back into the circle and two more people start painting, designing from the center out. I didn't give any direction of who should jump in next. I only said if they've had a turn wait until everyone has gone to try again.

 Last week, I added a challenge. one person was the lead painter and the other person had to paint exactly the same thing. I got to see who preferred to follow and what kind of a leader the other student was. 

Next week we will be doing the same collaborative mural painting in a 1/2 hour but this time using what we learned about radial design. Hopefully it will be like creating a giant mandala. I will take pictures along the way to show you the process. 


Mary said...

Thanks for this Erica! I have done radial symmetry projects before, but not a group collaboration. And I am always in need of a bonus lesson for the occasional extra 10-15 minutes.

Phyl said...

I like the collaborative radial project. I've done collaborative stuff before but I find I always have to have a plan for who keeps what or they fight over it! (last person keeps it, or person who starts it writes name on the back and then keeps it when done).

Can't wait to see what happens with the radial paintings! Sounds cool.

Becca Ruth said...

love it!!

Mrs. Hahn said...

Wonderful to see the link. I think Therese at Pezzettino has some great images to support this lesson too! I'm glad to see it. You do a great job, in class and on your blog!

LT said...

This is a fantastic lesson idea! I will be trying it. Thank you!