Saturday, January 5, 2013

Working on Perspective in the New Year

Happy New Year and welcome back to school!  This is what the chalk board at my 3rd-5th school looks like at the moment.  I have my 3rd-5th grades starting out the New Year with Perspective/3D lessons.  After teaching these lessons for two days now, I must say that the students are doing really well and they are very impressed with themselves.

My 5th grades are working on these One Point Perspective scenes that I found on Pinterest originally, but found that the lesson links back to our blogging friend Phyl!  I changed it up a bit.  They are only making the floor and ceiling blocks and the walls are stripes.  Time wise this will work better for us since we have 30 minute classes and I want this project to move along and not drag out.  When it drags out they lose interest, fast!

This project will serve several purposes, not only will they be working on One Point Perspective, but this will help them reinforce their ruler skills (which I'm sorry to say, for many of them is atrocious!)  I find that its not that they can't use the ruler correctly, they just can't be bothered!  The students are in a rush and are looking for a quicker way.  Well folks, we are not rushing through this one!  I am determined that by the time we are done my 5th grades will understand the need to use their ruler to draw their lines for this project and not rush through it!

These pictures are all my teacher examples since we are just starting them.  The kids love the floating action people!  I usually do a Keith Haring project with my 5ths to work on action people but I am going to forgo that project this year since I can get the action figure element in this project. 

First two steps for the One Point Perspective hallways

I taught this lesson step-by-step with my 5th grades.  I drew up these two big step-by-step tutorials and hung them up on my Smartboard so the kids could see them as we work.  It gave me the opportunity to go back to a step and point things out if necessary.

Steps 3 and 4 of the One Point Perspective hallways

The example has been hanging up on my chalk board since before Christmas break and the students have been excited to start working on it.  I expressed to them that their success with this piece has nothing to do with how well they can draw and everything to do with how well they listen, follow directions and use the tools I give them!  (I think that speech worked because they were all so on task during each step you could hear a pin drop!)

Our tools for this lesson. Simple but very important.

18" mat board strips, 12" rulers and 3" squares

Since our rulers were not long enough to be able to draw a continuous line from corner to corner, I cut up some mat board into 18" strips.  The kids found it interesting that even though the paper is a 12" square it was not in fact 12" from corner to corner.

– "Why is that Mrs.C?"

– "I do not know boys and girls because as I have told you many times before, I am mathematically challenged.  Maybe one of you can research this and let us know next week"

This is how math seems to me! Ha!

I ended up cutting up some 3" squares for the center square after trying to get one class to measure it out in the center.  After explaining and demonstrating and showing them in small groups how to measure this 3" square this is how I felt...

...And that was my gifted and talented class!  Mind you, some had no problem with it but enough did that it sent me into a silent panic that if this class had trouble measuring a 3" square to fit inside the center I was doomed trying to explain it to my other 5th grade classes!  So, I cut up a bunch of 3" squares and simply showed them how to wiggle and fit the piece until it matched up to their lines as close as possible.  It worked!  I did show them how to measure it with the ruler also and gave them the option of doing it either way.  Some measured and some traced the square.

So far all the classes are pretty pleased with the results and they are ready to start coloring them next week in class!

My 4th grades have started working on these 3-D cities. I had pinned this idea, I think last year, and decided to give it a try.  When I checked my pin to see where the original link came from, lo and behold I found that the original source was again, Phyl, from There's a Dragon in my Art Room!  (Ok, so now I am starting to think we could start playing 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon but with Phyl and art lessons! All lessons will somehow link back to Phyl! Ha! Ha!)

The 4th graders are doing really well with the lesson and are loving their results so far!  The kids didn't think they could do it, but when I broke it down step-by-step they saw that it was possible.  I told them that yes, some of it might be a challenge but that I would not have them do it if I didn't think they could succeed.  Again, I made a couple of really big charts with the steps so they were on display during the lesson.

Third grade is working on these simple One Point Perspective shape designs.  I do these every year with my 3rd grades and the kids love them!  This year we are going to give them an outer space theme.

So that's what going on in my 3rd-5th grade art room right now!  I will show you some of the finished pieces when they are complete! 

I'm off to do some crocheting! (It was either that or cleaning and crocheting won hands down!)  Happy Weekend eveyrbody!  :)


  1. Ha ha ha! I love the six degrees of me!!! I am the oddball mathematical person who happens to also be an artsy person - go figure - so I really love teaching perspective.

    By the way, the diagonal on the square paper is the hypotenuse of a right triangle, and you may remember from math class that a and b are the right angled sides, and c is the hypotenuse or diagonal. You probably learned the Pythagorean theorem, which says: a squared + b squared = c squared, so if you have 12" paper, 12 squared is 144, so add 144 + 144 = 288, and the square route of 288 is a little under 17 (find that w/a calculator); measure your diagonal and see if I am correct!

    That's today's math lesson from the mathematical art teacher!

    1. Ok Phyl, you lost me after hypotenuse! The what is the what?! I'm jealous that you can understand everything you just typed! :)

    2. Ok so as not to look like a complete idiot I read your math explanation again, slowly, picturing it in my head and drawing a picture of the angle(I'm a visual learner) and I get it now! :)

  2. my class is great at it