Colored squares – shapes – swaping colors – contrast (this session with the 3rd graders)

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One session – one hour
Material
– 2 sets of colored paper squares.
– Scissors, glue.

Each students gets 2 sets of six colored paper squares. The students arrange the first set as they wish and glue the squares. They then cut shapes directly in the second set of squares and organize them. I encourage them to try as much as possible different combinations. Once they like the result, they glue the shapes.

Colored squares – shapes – swaping colors – contrast (this session with the 5th graders)

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One session – one hour
Material
2 sets of colored paper squares.
Scissors, glue.

Each students gets 2 sets of six colored paper squares. The students arrange the first set as they wish and glue the squares. They then cut shapes directly in the second set of squares and organize them. I encourage them to try as much as possible different combinations. Once they like the result, they glue the shapes.

With a Leaf: Shape, negative and positive space, drawing (this session with the 3rd graders)

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One session – one hour.
Material per student:
– One large tree leaf , collected in the Fall and dried in a phone book for a few weeks!
– One sheet of colored paper (Fall tone or else).
– 2B Pencil, 4B pencil, eraser, scissors, glue stick.

Take a few minutes to look closely at the leaf and its special shape.This step looks like easy, it is in fact one of the most difficult for the students: taking the time to look.

Trace the contour of the leaf with the pencil on the colored paper (by looking at the leaf, not going around the leaf with the pencil).

Cut along the line, trying to get one piece for the leaf, one piece for the rest.
Glue the leaf on either page, the negative space on the opposite page.

Glue the leaf on the following double page.

Draw the leaf on the opposite page with a 4B pencil. This time, help yourself by tracing the nerves of the leaf first and then the contour of the leaf. See the difference with the first contour made on the colored paper.

Hand: contour, positive and negative space, composition in the page (this session with the 5th graders)

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One session –  one hour.
Material: one sheet of colored paper per student. pencil, scissors, glue stick.

This is a short exercise which involves tracing a contour, seeing positive and negative space, making a composition.

Draw the contour of one hand and wrist. The hand and arm has to lay very flat on the paper. Use the pencil vertical and go slowly to get the maximum details in the contour. If the pencil is slanted, the contour will be either too narrow or too wide. It can absolutely be done narrow or wide, but it will not look like the contour of your hand. With some time it is interesting to try different possibilities.

Cut the contour of the hand an wrist. There should be two pieces of paper: the hand (positive shape) and the rest of the sheet (negative shape). Put the hand on the side.

Taking the negative shape, cut along the hand and wrist. You obtain a “negative hand”. The thickness does not matter. It can be thick or thin along the shape of the hand.

Organize on the white page both shapes of the hand as you like, as you think they look the most interesting. The shapes can be cut along the edge of the composition.

When satisfied with the composition, glue both shapes.

I wish that the students find their own solutions with the space. They like to see, at the end of the session, that everybody found a different solution.

Shapes, patterns, negative space: Exercise around the hand (this session with the 3rd Graders)

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One session – 1 hour and half
Material: pencil, eraser, black fine point marker, black fine point sharpie

Draw the contour of one hand on the page, including the wrist and the start of the arm. The idea is to have the hand/arm very flat on the page, to go slowly to trace the contour. It works if the pencil is held vertically, to get a contour with some interesting details. If the pencil is slanted, the fingers for example, will appear very skinny or very large. The students have the possibility to use a pencil and an eraser.

Draw an inside contour of the page. The occasion to draw a nice line, of course no ruler is used. We talk about the importance of the quality of the line, any line we decide to draw. It can be trembled but we have to decide it.

Retrace the contour of the page and the contour of the hand and wrist, using the black fine point marker or the black fine point Sharpie, without closing the line at the wrist.

Start filling the space with patterns, starting preferably against the hand. The idea is to play with the distance between the lines, the thickness of the lines, the rhythm, the density. The idea is not necessarily to fill the whole space. At the end of the session the space is filled in different ways for different students, some students are done and some are not, which is not a problem, they can finish later.

Bottles : Positive / Negative Shapes (this session with the 3rd graders)

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One session of one hour.
Material: painted plastic bottles of different shapes.
colored paper, pencils, scissors, glue.

1. I dispose one or two bottles per table cluster. If the bottle has a handle, the students should be able to see it. They can move around to get the best angle.
What the students are asked to do:
2. Watch attentively the shape of the bottle and then draw it as big as possible on the paper.
2. Cut the shape in one piece and keep all the pieces of the “negative” portion.
3. Glue the positive shape on one page, the negative shape on the opposite page.

The idea is to pay attention to the design of an everyday object and see that these objects we use all the time look in fact very different from each other and have interesting shapes.

When a student is done with a bottle, he can observe/draw/cut/glue another bottle’s shape.