Materials needed for Elementary "I"
18 x 24 inch or larger paper in black, browns, grays, and white
Various size pieces and scraps of paper in black, browns, grays,
(Collect paper from all sorts of places--paper bags, typing paper,
Small pieces of brightly colored paper (These can also be textured
or patterned papers.)
White, gray, black, and brown--markers, pencils, chalk, crayons
School glue (or acrylic medium) with a paste brush or glue sticks
(Could put a little Horace Pippin thumbnail heresee Artists
LOOK AT ART (see Artists chapter) <?>
Consider interior scenes created by artists such as Horace Pippin,
Hollis Sigler, and Jacob Lawrence. The goal is to help students
to observe, analyze, and appreciate why artists choose to represent
space in various ways. Its important to note the ease with
which a few diagonal lines or changes in value in the background
suggest space to the human eye. Consider with students the cultural,
psychological, or metaphorical implications of only depicting space
by means of classic European linear perspective.
Look at drawings or paintings of people by artists such as
Paul Klee or Xul Solar. Consider in what ways these artworks look
like the work of children. In what ways are the drawing styles different
from the work of children? Conrast the words "childish"
and "childlike?" What do artists hope to gain by eschewing
naturalistic styles of drawing the human figure?
Take some time for quiet reflection.
Remember a vivid incident that happened at your elementary school.
Think about the experience of being in school during that year.
Some questions to spur your memory:
What was it like to walk to school? What did you do when you got
to school? How did you enter the building? Where did you sit? What
did you wear? Who sat next to you? Where did the teacher stand or
sit? Remember being praised by the teacher. Remember being criticized
by the teacher. Do you remember interacting with your peers during
class. During recess or lunch? After school?
What kind of desk did you sit in? What did you keep inside your
desk? What color was the classroom floor? Were there windows in
the classroom? Could you see out of them? What decorated the walls?
Was student work displayed on the walls? Was your work displayed?
Where was the door? How big were you in relationship to the door?
Did you ever spend time in the hall?
What was your favorite classroom activity? What activity did you
most dislike? Do you remember any holiday celebrations? Do you remember
bringing any personal belongings into the class? Do you remember
thinking about things that happened at home or in the community
while you were in school?
There is aMemory Worksheet file for downloading in the Process Chapter.
Look at drawings by children of various ages. (Emphasis Art by Frank
Wachowiak and Robert Clements has an attractive 2 page spread showing
figure drawings by children of from first through eighth grade.)
Make sketches of people and objects that are important parts of
your story. Draw in the style you drew in at the age the events
Cut out these pictures.
Use scissors, x-acto knife, and rulers to cut and tear paper. Do
not pre-draw. Do not use a pencil until later in the project.
Begin with an 18 x 24" or larger paper in black, gray, or
dark brown. Use only grays, white, black, and shades of brown papers.
First put down a few large pieces to create floors and walls.
Note how laying a diagonal line instantly creates the illusion of
depth. Allow yourself to create conceptual (not necessarily) realistic
space. For example, you may be able to see the side and top of a
table at the same time.
After making the basic space, add doors, windows, large pieces of
One great way to shape papers for your collage is to tear them,
either free hand or against a ruler to create a straight, but soft
Add the characters and objects you created in your child style sketching.
ADD DETAILS & CREATE TEXTURES AND PATTERNS
After you have created the basic spaces and large and small shapes,
you can begin adding detail to your picture with white, black, and
brown markers, pencils, and chalk.
The details may be small objects such as equipment, posters, plants,
clocks, loudspeaker, etc. Consider adding actual or symbolically
significant posters, pictures, maps, and charts to the wall.
Added details should include creating the patterns and textures
you associate with various surfaces.
When the picture is nearing completion, you may take a small scrap
of colored paper (about 4 by 6 inches) and use bits of it in places
around the picture as an accent color.
As you make visual art, you will often find that your memories of
places, people, and events become more vivid. Jot down words to
help describe your experience.
Write: things you remember people saying, questions you thought
or asked that were not answered, opinions you had about teachers
and peers. Describe a time you got in trouble. In your judgement
today was it justified or unjustified. What did you worry about?
What stories do you remember reading? What did you learn? What didnt
you learn? Describe something you thought was wonderful or impressive.
Choose from your writing notes: sentences, phrases, and words that
will enhance your drawing. Write words on your drawing. Layer over
images or write in negative space. Add any information that helps
to "paint a portrait" of the discursive space in your
COMMUNICATE & RESPOND
Post the finished artwork on the walls. Assign or let each student
choose a work (not his of her own). Use the Elementary I Response
Form (below) to stimulate each students consideration of his
or her chosen artwork. Have students write in answer to all the
questions that seem applicable. Use the thoughts stimulated by the
worksheets as the basis for classroom discussion. Share the Response
Forms with the artist.