Sunday, October 25, 2015

1 Point Perspective

 I have seriously avoided teaching 1 point perspective for years!!!!! Never having a high rate of success with this particular lesson I decided my elementary students just weren't ready for it.

Then I saw the new curriculum guide from my district during planning week and was NOT amused. Because that's when I realized I would be stuck doing this lesson with my 4th AND 5th graders. And since we NOW have the dreaded End of Course Exams I had to do this......

I do, on occasion, have students working with rulers in my art room. Not my fault they never seem to remember this when sitting in the Middle School art room. I even have a sign in my room demonstrating how to hold a ruler.  Anyway........ It occurred to me, perhaps, if I scaffold this lesson maybe, just maybe it would be successful. 

The first day of this two day lesson (roughly 50 minute classes) we practiced using a ruler.  The sheet on the left with the dots in a cross formation was what my students practiced with. When I subbed a very long time ago I found a copy of that sheet as part of a set of parabolic lines. While it is cool to see straight lines create the illusion of curved lines, I thought it more important to use this sheet to build muscle memory for drawing straight lines.  The above photo on the right was what the students did in their sketchbook to learn what 1 point perspective was all about. I found the worksheet they used here.

The rest of the class time was spent walking around the room helping students understand how to hold and use the ruler to make straight lines. And helping them with the back lines on the houses they drew in their sketchbooks.

The following week for the actual lesson I wanted my students to do a bird's eye view of a city. I did give them small square and rectangle tracers to use for the tops of the buildings. I modeled for them on my Elmo (a brand of document camera that projects what I'm doing onto the white board). And I'm here to tell you that the scaffolding WORKED!!! I did need to REMIND students to make the dot for the vanishing line, but, overall I was just thrilled with the results. When one of the 5th grade teachers saw what they were doing, she asked that I give her the finished work for a future geometry lesson to count vertices. Oh yeah!!!!

We did take some time discussing why artists, especially architects learn to draw from different perspectives. Students that caught on quickly were helping other students or adding some interesting details to their buildings like helipads, roof pools, one even had a tight rope across 2 buildings, perhaps remembering this lesson from a few years ago? They added windows, signs, cars and traffic lines. 

Lessons that are successful always make for a happy day! Thanks for reading!!

1 comment:

  1. I love your scaffolding for this lesson - I never thought about using dots to help the kids practice drawing lines with a ruler! Awesome! I am linking this article to one on my website about linear perspective. I dislike teaching it, too, but I am constantly trying to figure out ways to help my kids do better. Thank you!