Robert Indiana-inspired Block Words (3rd)

For this lesson I began by talking to my 3rd graders about the Pop artist Robert Indiana. We talked about how he became famous for his really simple images that often included a short word. From there we talked about his 'LOVE' series and then looked at a variety of pieces he created.
The first 'LOVE' piece came in 1964 when Indiana created the design for a Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art. Then in 1973, the US Postal Service put the design on a stamp! Later on Indiana was even involved in creating LOVE sculptures in other languages as well (like the 'AMOR' sculpture that appeared in Madrid, Spain in 2006 - since moved to the National Gallery of Art)!
In 2008, Indiana created a 'HOPE' image in the same style as his 'LOVE' image. He sold tons of prints of his work and donated all of the proceeds to the Democratic National Committee for Barack Obama's first presidential campaign. Since then he has also created several 'HOPE' sculptures (one of which was featured at the 2008 Democratic National Convention in Denver, CO)!
After learning about his work, I introduced students to the project and began brainstorming ideas for different 4-letter words that students could use in their own artwork.
After brainstorming I had my students fold a 8.5"x8.5" piece of white drawing paper in half both ways to divide their paper into fourths. Then I demonstrated how to create a thick block letter by lightly writing a letter regularly, then creating an evenly spaced outline around it. Once the outline was created, students erased the first line (the gray line shown in the image).
Once they had their word written, students used crayons to outline their block letter and add pattern to the inside of it. Then students used watercolor paints to add some color!

I made a super easy step-by-step block and bubble letter printable to go with this project. If you'd like a copy you can find it here.

1 comment

  1. Thanks for the great idea. My grade 4 students made sculptures of four letter words using model magic. They turned out great!