This is a lesson my Fifth Graders are just finishing up. We studied the art of Frank Stella, specifically his artwork "Jarama II." There is a great online slideshow that takes you through observing and talking about the artwork at www.nga.gov. When I presented this lesson I used a powerpoint that I created from that slideshow. We then returned to our seats to brainstorm a list of activities...and we broadened it to any physical activity - not just sports. We recorded these on the board. I then chose one and showed them on the board how you would represent that activity with shapes, and lines. I asked the students to think about the equipment, the movements and the colors in their chosen activity and then they spent time sketching their ideas. It was difficult for many of them to think in such abstract terms, but we kind of tried to make it like a guessing game for the viewer. We didn't want to make it obvious what the activity was - so they were not allowed to represent the activity in any realistic way. Once students had developed their ideas, they began cutting their shapes from cardboard. Once all their shapes were cut, they arranged them and I took a picture of it. After that, they began to paint. First covering all their pieces with colors, then adding patterns or designs with paint. Once everything was painted, students assembled and glued their pieces together to finish them. Click below to see our students artwork for this project.
Bertha Robinson's 5th grade
Memorial's 5th grade