Thursday, October 18, 2012

Watching the Design Process Unfold in Young Learners

If you work with children you know that they are fearless when it comes to their artwork and I rarely hear from my students that they don't believe they are good artists.  Why is that?  Maybe it is the fact that they are more concerned about themselves than the world around them, I also believe that a child's world is centered on the here and now. 

This is a project that I call Movement Bodies and the published version of this project can be found and downloaded free of charge at
For any of you who are interested Nasco as well as most of the online art suppliers have lesson plans available for your free download.  Many of them are provided by art teachers from around the country and have been kid tested and teacher approved. 
This is a project that I often use with my students and am doing so again this year, I provide each student the preprinted template for the body, the students determine the movement for the body and then put the template pieces together to simulate the movement.  My students transfer the body to a clean piece of paper and then design a different line/shape pattern for each section of the body.  They develop a background, and use watercolor pencils to complete the project.  The goal of this project is to understand the use of line/pattern/shape/rhythm in their artwork.  I often have my students outline their designs with black markers as this helps them focus in on the design/pattern when coloring as well as makes for a bold presentation. 
Watching children design is a fascinating process and is so different for an adult.  We as adults could learn alot from children in their fearless approach to art and design. 


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