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Arts & Activities - Page 22

lEaRNINg OBJECTIVES Middle-school students will . • explore and create images using a variety of materials, • create a portrait without using scissors or drawing tools. • use the image development strategies of distortion and exaggeration technologies and processes. MaTERIalS • • • Construction paper (various colors/sizes) glue Pastels (optional) ment to draw outlines or shapes. I also restricted the size of the faces to be close to real-life dimensions. The variety was outstanding—everything from a figure skater to Hannibal Lecter! Some students chose to make self-portraits, while others made a likeness of a friend, celebrity or character. Sam TEARING THINGS UP To get the feel Patrick Grace A llowed O No Scissors by Janet Bates RIP-aRT PORTRaITS nce, in my continual quest for unique and varied art projects, I was inspired by a colorful Kleenex® box while grocery shopping. The box was covered with faces in a variety of sizes, ages, shapes and colors. What a fun Inspiration came from a box of facial tissue. idea to have my class create their own portraits using only construction paper, glue and one’s fingers. INTRODUCING THE CONCEPT As a 5-minute warm-up, students brainstormed a list of famous people they were certain they’d recognize on sight. This exercise was an introduction to thinking about faces and portraits, as well as a way for me to learn about the icons in their popular culture. Alternatively, I could have introduced students to this project by having them provide a variety of pictures of famous people to explore—more intently, the intricate shapes and designs found on different faces—and develop visual perception. It is one skill to observe details, and another to re-create what is visualized. As I shared an examplar rip-art portrait I made, I presented them the challenge of creating a face. The main proviso? They had to create it without the use of scissors or any writing instru22 for working with scraps of construction paper, students ripped and tore a variety of shapes and simple objects. As a result, they were better able to concentrate on the basic shapes, lines and textures found on the face of the person they were creating. For some students, it was a challenge to permit themselves to make “flawed” shapes. It is not easy to be accurate while relying merely on one’s own fingers! Nevertheless, the class could soon see that imperfections, distortions and roughness of the faces gave intrigue and visual interest to their artwork. As the portraits came to life, it became evident they indeed looked like the individuals they represented. Some students added a partial torso or clothing to their portraits, complete with popular logos or name brands. Other students chose to add a few facial details—pupils, thick eyebrows and blush marks—using pastels. The first time we did this project, the students’ portraits were used to create a year-end banner. The faces displayed close together imparted a crowd-like feel, with enough detail to depict the diversity within the class. The banner hung in our gym during a seventh-grade graduation ceremony, recognizing the students’ departure to high school. Another time, the rip-art portraits were used to cover the base of a bulletin board to cheer Olympic athletes to victory. During this lesson, student creativity bubbled to the surface, surpassing my expectations. It warmed my heart to watch each child take an idea and create a unique piece of art. n Janet Bates teaches seventh grade at Berkshire Park Elementary School in Surrey, British Columbia, Canada. october 2012 • 80 YEARS x

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