Sunday, March 04, 2007

Art Lesson - Symmetrical Butterflies

This is an art lesson that I did in a third grade class. It's a good one for third grade because they are learning about symmetry in math. So it's always nice to have a little art to connect with math.

First they were to fold a paper in half. Then we drew half of the butterfly. You must watch that they are actually drawing on the fold - there's bound to be a couple that don't. I tried to encourage them to do their own design, and also to keep it large. It seems there's always some kids that draw so tiny. They can use pencil first if they are not comfortable with using oil pastels right away. I usually allow that because someone is bound to make a mistake. Then they traced over their pencil with a black oil pastel. Then I had them fold the paper in back with the drawing on the inside. After that I had them use a paint mixing stick to rub the design onto the other side of the paper. You probably did this at some time in grade school. When I was a kid we would use a pencil and totally color it with pencil to transfer the image. I decided the pencil is just too much pencil lead and is a mess. So I use whatever hard tool instead. I try to use something that's not so distracting - scissor handles, or clothes pins work, but they are distracting too! After the transfer is done (have them check and look at it from time to time) they need to darken the transfer and colored it in. Since I had some time left over I had them paint over the butterfly with watercolor. It wasn't necessary, but it's nice because this group hadn't done a watercolor resist yet this year. It can be amazing how the watercolor doesn't change the oil pastel, and they had some fun with that. When they were done, if they had time, they could do their own design. I was glad when many choose to do more symmetry and came up with there own creatures. That was very imaginative and fun!

Frank is the name of the creature, not the kid!

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