The first project that I decided to do with my 4th graders was a tessellation project.
On day one we looked at a powerpoint I put together that looked at the Dutch artist M.C. Escher (no -- not M.C. Usher kids -- M.C. Escher) ;)
We began by looking at a variety of his work including "Drawing Hands" and "Relativity" (they LOVED these pieces) as well as his tessellation art. We defined a "tessellation" as being "a pattern created with a repeating shape that does not overlap and could go on forever." Then we talked about how there any many different types of tessellations, but that we could categorize some of them by how the shape in the pattern moves. The first one we looked at was a 'translation', then a 'rotation', and then a 'reflection.' To help students remember the names and to differentiate them from one another.. I came up with a little dance called the 'Tessellation Boogie'. To begin with, I have students stand up out of their chairs and repeat after me "This is the tessellation boogie!" (with a tooonnnnnnn of attitude and shoulder bobbing). Then we say "translation!" and slide to the right, "rotation!" and spin in a circle, and "reflection!" and put our hands together and the jazz hands them apart in the air. THEY LOVE IT. LOVE IT. LOVE IT. Everyday they came in they would beg me to lead them in the tessellation boogie! And two of my classes even performed it for their teachers when they came to pick them up! :)
Afterwards, we look at a youtube clip of a variety of tessellations and I have the kids call out whether they think it's a translation, rotation, or reflection.
( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2AWKgU0cN4&feature=related )
Then I tell students that we are going to begin making our tessellation art using the translation (slide) method!
Once everyone had their piece made, we practiced drawing it a couple times on a piece of scratch paper. This is where students also were given the opportunity to make their tessellation pieces a little more interesting by making it into a character (or monster). They rotated their piece around until they could visualize their monster and then added more detail.
Once their character was designed, they started their final project on a piece of 9"x9" white drawing paper. We talked about how because the original tessellation shape paper was 3"x3" and the final paper was 9"x9", we could fit our shape 9 total times (although the last shape may be cut off).
Students traced their shapes, added their monster's details.. and then we talked about color.
Students used colored pencils and were encouraged to use a complementary color scheme to create contrast in their work! After coloring, they used fiber pens to outline their shapes.
|My Bulletin Board Display|
|Student work hung across the hall from my bulletin board!|
If you are interested in a more throughly explained lesson plan with visuals, teacher and student directions, demo videos, and an awesome PowerPoint, please check out my Teachers Pay Teachers store!