Incorporating ART into LITERATURE!

Saturday, October 10, 2015
I am definitely an art lover, so any chance I get I TRY to incorporate Art into my day.  I am currently working on the NOVEL STUDY "From the Mixed Up Files From Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler" with my students.  In the beginning of the story, my students were fascinated with the fact that the two main characters, Claudia and James, were on their OWN in the big city (when they initially ran away!)  I knew that it was the PERFECT opportunity to work on Cityscapes so the students could try and visualize the BIG CITY.  

A few years back I made this Elements of Art and Principles of Design Anchor Chart for my students.  When I am teaching any art lesson, I am constantly referring to it and it provides a GREAT visual. For the lesson on Cityscapes, we were focusing particularly on Geometric Form, Value, Line, Positive Space, and Negative Space. 
Elements of Art, Principles of Design, Art anchor chart
 But BEFORE we jumped into art, I wanted to build the students knowledge on Skyscrapers since they would be the main subject of their Cityscapes.  First, I showed the students this AWESOME BrainPOP video on skyscrapers to build their background knowledge.  Next, we completed a Close Read on the TALLEST skyscraper in the world, the Burj Khalifa.  
Tallest Building in the World Passage, Tallest Skyscraper Passage, Skyscrapers, Informational Passage Skyscrapers
Students were PUMPED to begin drawing their Cityscapes.  They were taking their role as "architects" extremely seriously. Using graph paper really helped the students sketch and draw. Take a look at a few examples of student's drawings in the early stages.  
Cityscapes, Sketching Buildings
As I mentioned earlier, these are the concepts that I addressed.
Geometric Form
What different shapes can you use to design your skyscrapers?
Is your sketch 2 dimensional or 3 dimensional?
How did you incorporate 3 dimensional shapes in your sketch?
How can you use your pencil to shade darker and lighter areas?
How does changing the value of your sketch change the perspective?
How using a range of values help you with overlapping?
What types of lines help add texture to you sketch?
What different types of lines did you use?
Positive/Negative Space
What objects make up your positive space?
What objects make up your negative space?
Drawing Lines Skyscrapers
I had students get out their whiteboards prior to drawing on the graph paper to plan out what they were going to do.  This really helped them make a PLAN of action!
Planning Cityscapes
Another student (seen below) designs his Cityscape using a 
whiteboard and Elements of Art Anchor Chart.
Drawing Buildings Lesson
Another visual aide that helped students with pattern and design was the chart seen below.  I posted this to help students get ideas for using LINE to build TEXTURE in their drawings.  
 The guide seen below is from Todd Stahl 
(click on the photo to be taken to the link.)  
The finished products turned out beautifully! After the students had shaded in their buildings with colored pencil, they used chalk to fill in the sky.  They smudged the chalk with their fingers for extra texture and effect!  I LOVE how they look in the room! They brighten up our windows and it is such a joy to have them hanging up! I think they all turned out INCREDIBLE!!! Hopefully you are inspired to try these with your students some day soon. :-)
Cityscapes, drawing cityscapes, cityscapes lesson, 5th grade art lesson, cityscape art lesson
How do you incorporate ART throughout your day?


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