Entries in grade 8 (1)

Friday
Jul152016

Teaching art to Grade 8 is not as easy as I thought it would be...

I was very proud of myself in December (2015) when I came up with a theme around which I could structure my Grade 8 lessons. I thought I would look at landscape - starting with looking at the land from above using Google Earth & then in each subsequent lesson I would guide the girls towards the earth in ‘layers’, getting to street level using Google Street View & eventually getting close to the ground and examining things from a ‘bug’s eye view”.

I introduced line drawing to my Grade 8 classes by getting them to draw contour views of the earth using fineliners. 

 

We watched the following video where the artist uses drawing as a meditative exercise. The girls later told me that this exercise hurt their eyes and gave them headaches. FAIL No.1

We then moved on to a painting exercise -  I taught the girls various watercolour techniques & we were going to use these techniques to create landscape paintings from images sourced using Google Earth. This lesson was inspired by the following post: http://www.ipadartroom.com/google-earth-inspired-landscapes/

The techniques & experiments with watercolour were successful but when the girls started painting they forgot the light playful quality of the experiments and the paintings became overworked and too literal. Most were like the image below. FAIL No.2

I then got the girls to tear up their paintings & re-collage the fragments, they also had the option of including figurative elements from magazines. The paper was difficult to stick down because it was quite thick watercolour paper and many of the girls didn’t enjoy tearing up their work. FAIL No.3

The next phase of the program was to draw buildings in perspective using ‘Google Street View’. I had just taught a perspective component to my Grade 9 classes that they found quite difficult - so I realized that I had to reinterpret this task & make it more manageable for my Grade 8 classes. I taught the basics of one and two point perspective and my Grade 8 classes made notes in their sketch books. 
Once they understood the concept of perspective. I introduced them to the work of Ben Heine & explained how he set up his drawings. Using the following illustrations:

The girls then had to immitate Ben Heine's work but had to use an image that included perspective. They seemed to enjoy this exercise. WIN NO. 1 

I then moved on to two street art exercises that completely won over the hearts of my Grade 8 classes. I told them they were going to do a form of street art within the school & that the other teachers didn't know about it & if they were caught - they had to say 'he knows' - and run away. (I cleared everything with the headmaster of our school before embarking on this project.) The girls came to art dressed in hoodies and sunglasses, I let them see a YouTube video on 'googly eye-bombing' (see below) & let them loose on the school. WIN No. 2
 
They were very excited, ended up disturbing a few classes, but most teachers thought it was a fun exercise & tolerated the disturbance. Below see a video of a fragment of the experience: 
Some of the 'googly eye' bombing ended up being really cute & I am sure brought a smile to many people who inhabit our school. 
The last project of the term got the girls involved in tape grafitti. I had been looking on Pinterest and other sites at images of schools creating tape grafitti with blue tape. (They were usually students who were older than my Grade 8 girls, so I introduced the idea to them by showing them what other schools had done.)  I gave them one lesson to plan their piece in their sketchbooks & to book a spot in the school with me. 


They then armed with one roll of masking tape each created their temporary tape artworks around the school. The senior girls and the staff loved the transformation of our very formal school into a more visually exciting place. (WIN NO. 3) 
The two girls who produced this last piece filmed themselves creating and taking the work down.