Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Positive and negative space

I spent two fascinating days relieving in a grade 2 class right at the end of last term.  Amongst some other cool teaching and learning activities we made positive and negative space art pieces.  They were great fun to make and look fantastic.  

As you might have come to expect, the inspiration for this came from Pinterest (here).  I pinned this some time ago and promptly forgot that there were instructions. When the time came to use the idea I just ran with the visual image and 'had a go'. Oh well. Ours are a little different!

I started the lesson by introducing the concept of positive and negative space in images on the interactive whiteboard. (I found this website helpful to refresh my understanding of the art concepts.) We pointed out negative space in the images around the room and talked about how important it is to forming the positive images we see.  I demonstrated the very first steps of the project and talked explicitly about my expectations. We also talked about symmetry (the shape needed to be symmetrical and drawn with the axis of symmetry on the fold mark so that it could be easily cut out) and patterns (I asked for the coloured paper to be covered in an artistic pattern).

Being a grade 2 class the range of fine motor skill development was quite wide. You may be able to see the range of complexity in the patterns the children created. The challenge of cutting out the shapes amused the whole class for a few minutes, before becoming quite challenging for some children. I helped those who needed extra support with both the cutting and positioning of their positive and negative spaces. 

This particular lesson worked well in a relief situation for a number of reasons:

  • It was reasonably quick so we could start and finish it in one session.
  • It's not a messy activity requiring huge quantities of resources.
  • It introduced and developed understanding of an important and discrete art concept.
  • It allowed all students to be successful.
  • It could be linked to other maths concepts (symmetry, pattern etc.) very easily.
  • It could be used to look at other art concepts (colour etc.) easily.
I can see myself repeating this lesson with other classes. Do you have a  great relief art lesson you re-use?

This relates to the following Australian Professional Standards for Teachers...
Standard 1.1 Physical, social and intellectual development and characteristics of students
Standard 1.5 Differentiate teaching to meet the specific learning needs of students across the full range of abilities
Standard 2.1 Content & teaching strategies of the teaching area 
Standard 3.5 Use effective classroom communication
Standard 4.1 Support student participation

1 comment:

  1. You Would be as happy AS a pig in mud it you were able to do more art