Tuesday, June 16, 2015

End of the year: 4th grade

These Greek column compositions turned out super groovy - I just love them! The backgrounds were created using an experimental printmaking technique using plastic bags! I really love the juxtaposition of classical vs. experimental. I suggested that students stick to about 3 colors of paint on the day we made the printed papers so things wouldn't get too muddy. On the second day of work, we looked at some handouts I made on Greek architecture, specifically columns. The kids picked one of the orders that they liked best and set about creating a drawing of a column using the visuals to help them. I left the drawing portion very open ended: pencil and/or sharpie, close up view/far away view, one column or several.....you get the idea. I even let them choose what color of paper to work on! I was very impressed and will continue to teach this assignment. 

Ahhhhhhh, yes......on to the ORIGAMI!! I know most teachers would typically shy away from teaching anything using origami techniques, but I have been teaching the kids how to build this cube for several years now and have built up my courage! It isn't for the faint of heart, especially when you have 20+ hungry-for-origami eyes staring at you, but they love it! There is usually some heartache and torment during the first day, but once they get over that hurdle, the sky is the limit! I taught myself how to do it quite a while ago and you can too! This is the link that started it all for me......Origami Mommy
I would suggest only working on the folds for Day #1 and the assembly on Day #2. After I have taught the kids the folds, I tell them that I am not going to give them any instruction, but they may play around with the pieces and experiment until the time is up. Some kids don't want to do this - and I don't push it. Regardless, we store our pieces in large mailing envelopes for the next class period. Inevitably, there is always one child who figures it out on Day #1 without my help - and that child becomes an assistant for Day #2 and makes your life much easier! The process of a student helping their peers always leads to confidence building and of course, you gain more assistants in the process because more children are able to finish a cube vs. if you as the teacher are the only one who can help. Trust me, the first few years I taught this there were tears and many disgruntled kids, but I learned through experience how to break it down :) 


  1. I love the combination of media with the column pieces!

  2. Hello there

    do you teach or give course on how to make polyhedron shapes? are you based in the UK? London? please

    1. Hi Olly - I'm in the U.S. I can coach you via email if you like. The biggest piece of advice I can give is just get in there and try - and be ready to fail for quite some time. I remember crying when I first tried and it took me a long time to learn, but the best way to learn is through trial and error!!


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