Thursday, June 14, 2012

Insect Anatomy: Viewfinder Close-ups!

This creepy box of plastic insects supplemented the library books we used for resources for our unit on drawing, painting and sculpting a variety of insects.

I taped all of the finished insect strips to a large paper background on part of my dry erase board.  I know it is hard to see individual drawings, so scroll down to view some close-ups of each strip.  They looked very cool together; this board covers an impressive eight feet!

For this lesson, I took out dozens of library books on the theme of insects.  The concept was for students to take time to carefully observe insect specimens and focus on one specific part of the insect's anatomy for each pencil drawing.  I showed how to fold and cut a paper scrap to make a viewfinder which was used to "frame" a specific section of an insect's body.  The students used their pencil to draw and shade each drawing to show a range of values.  They had experience with shading values from an earlier unit. You can check out the introductory unit called, "Using Value" by clicking the label at the right of this post.
They worked on a 12" strip of white paper that was folded into eight rectangles.  I reminded them to fill up the entire space so that what they saw in the viewfinder would extend to the sides of each drawing.  It was fun to see the array of interesting insect parts that each student located and then carefully rendered and shaded.  On the back of each drawing, I had them label what they drew and write a small description of it.  An example might read," Right wing of a female dragonfly.  Known to live in the swamps of the southern United States."  I really enjoyed watching the students slow down and take more than two seconds to do this assignment!  Also, it was nice to have eight drawings in a small size so that those students who typically find drawing to be difficult were not overwhelmed with having to produce just one big drawing.
This activity became the warm-up/introduction to a series of assignments about insects.  Please check in soon to see the rest of the unit which includes lessons using many different media and a variety of techniques! 


Heather said...

I love this lesson! I want to do it! I especially love the one strip where a student made the negative space all black..great job! Happy Summer!!!

Anna Pietrolungo, Essendon North Primary School said...

Wow! Amazing Art! Congratulations to you and to your students. I would love to try this out with my year 6 students. Regards. Anna

one little deer said...

This lesson was fun and the kids really enjoyed it, too. Thanks for the feedback and yes, I am on Summer vacation! I still have lots of work left to blog about from the school year. The rest of the insect unit is so cool! I need to do some editing and rotating of images on Picassa first, so bear with me!
Anna, hello from the U.S! I am flattered that you enjoy my lessons! I have followed your blog and look forward to seeing more of your lessons! Please keep looking at Room9Art!