Day two of our first lesson at the LAB school went by quickly because of all the fun we were having. This was the day that we introduced paint to the project and basically had the students start to flesh out their playground structure ideas.
The day started with Teal asking if the students remembered who we were and what our playground structures looked like from last week. After a few minutes discussing last week she moved on to a miniature critique of some of the student’s sketchbooks. This was a really neat time because the class showed us that they had been listening and learning from us when they pointed out line and shape in some of the drawings without even being prompted. Below is a short clip of the informal critique. You will note the students talking about thinking outside of the box, and making sure that they took their art as far as they could.
After the critique directions were given for ten more minutes of sketchbook drawing. After this time students were to raise their hands and explain to us how they were ready for paint. This allowed the students to explore their structure a bit more and try to elaborate on what they were doing. Then they had to defend their choices and tell us why they were ready to move to the painting stage. The students learned from this that they had to make informed decisions in their artwork. We challenged them to know why they put certain things in the structure or why they portrayed it a certain way. Below is a clip of a student talking about her work.
If students were unsure about what to add or if they thought they were done, we would go to them and ask them questions about the structure. What does that detail look like up close? Where is your structure located? Earth? Mars? What kind of animals or people are around to play on the structure? This helped a lot of the students to take the sketches further than they thought they could.
Finally we got to the paint, the thing that the class was most excited about. Students were told that they needed to fill the entire sheet of paper with paint, meaning if they wanted white then they had to paint it white not just leave the background without paint. Students were only given the primary colors and white, black and green. This meant that they needed to mix their colors to get any of the intermediary or secondary colors. We let them explore this on their own for the day and next lesson we will explore it as a class. Below is a clip from a student showing his painting. Note that he talks about the environment that his piece is in which is something that we encouraged them to do. This gets them thinking about the piece in a different way, looking at the big picture and fully envisioning what the structure will look like.
Students were required to paint the entire sheet of paper for this project. This meant that if they wanted a white background they had to use white paint to actually paint it white. This allows the students to think a little bit about composition and it teaches them to use the whole canvas for paintings.