Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Character Collage: Deconstruction

***UPDATE: I just added my worksheet for this lesson to my Teachers pay Teachers store! I made it slightly more generic to fit the needs of the teachers who were requesting it - hope you like it!


This project was based on the series by Thom Pastrano called "The Streets," (see it here http://symbolsociety.bigcartel.com/artist/thom-pastrano) which I discovered over at Shine Brite Zamorano ( http://zamoranoarts.blogspot.com/2012/05/visit-to-street.html) last year - I have been anxiously awaiting the time when I could work it in to my 4th grade curriculum, and here it is! I am proud to say that most of my kids knew who the Sesame Street characters were - I wouldn't be the person I am today without PBS! (change of subject - anybody know why Blogger won't let me select phrases anymore to make a link? I'm having to insert the whole thing!)
Let me begin by saying... this one was much harder than I expected! We started out by defining the terms "realistic, abstract, and nonobjective" and looking at some examples of abstract art that used deconstruction, or taking the pieces apart and putting them back together in a new way - a challenge that many artists find very refreshing and meaningful. We even had a mini-LA lesson as we deconstructed the word "deconstruction" and found the root word and talked about the prefixes de- and re-. Confused yet? :)

An example of deconstruction and reorganization by Swiss artist Ursus Wehrli 
Here comes the fun part - students selected their favorite animated characters and researched them using technology. We made a planning page with thumbnails of these characters in deconstructed and reconstructed forms, and then selected the best one for our collages.

 
 

The collage step sent a few of us over the edge, as stated in their critiques - although some students really enjoyed the challenge, I appreciate it when they tell me they were disappointed they didn't get to draw or make a realistic character. And hey, abstract art isn't for everybody, but we should all understand the intention. I thought collage was the perfect medium for a hard-edge type design, but it was very time consuming and a bit frustrating for those of us not-so-fantastic cutters-and-gluers.  Next year we will definitely do this lesson again, but we may have a drawn alternative. But the good news is... we were showing off some super higher level thinking and even critiqued ourselves and our classmates at the end. One thing I keep remembering and reminding the kids - we have to take chances to get better!!!  Enjoy our deconstructed characters... I think they're great!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

28 comments:

  1. There are not enough words to say how cool this is! Even the kids who might not have totally grasped it now, they will reflect on this later in life and remember how neat this project was. What a GREAT teacher!!!! WOO HOO!!!

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  2. These are fabulous! I so need to look into you links and learn more about his project. I love them!

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  3. The kids did a great job! I think that making the kids dig down deep and think is really important even if " it puts them over the edge" ! In the end the results are awesome! :)

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  4. I LOVE THESE!! Kids may not appreciate the whimsy, but I sure do!!

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  5. This is a very cool project! Teaches them to think in new ways. I am linking to your blog later today to this project!

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  6. Wow! This is a very ambitious project. I love your teaching method. I also really like the deconstructed Fred Flintstone collage...

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  7. Love this! What is the worksheet you used? I would love to incorporate that too!!!

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  8. woohoo! these are just rad:) I love how you incorporated so many things into one lesson.

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  9. Any chance you could share the worksheet you had your kids draw thumbnails and critique on? I would love to use this lesson with my 4th graders!! Great lesson!

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  10. Could I have the worksheet to go along with this lesson. I love it! christieglenn@gmail.com

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  11. me too please! this looks like an awesome lesson :) elshke11@hotmail.com

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  12. I would love to have a copy of those worksheets also please! I have a group of 15 students from grade 1-8 for 2 hour art afternoons all at once every week and I really think this project could stretch beautifully across ages! Thanks!
    bamnihoniho@gmail.com

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  13. You have helped inspire this first year teacher in so many ways. I would greatly appreciate the worksheet too!
    Thanks!
    stowersl@fultonschools.org

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  14. Oh my, the deconstructed Snoopy is my favorite! Finally, some postmodern art lessons. I commend you, this lessons seems like it would be VERY challenging to teach, but the end results are incredible.

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  15. This lesson is fantastic! Would you be willing to share your worksheet with me? My kids will love this! eesadowski@verizon.net

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    1. Just uploaded it to my TpT store here - enjoy! https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Mrs-Knights-Smartest-Artists

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  16. Love, love, love this!!

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  17. This lesson is will be so motivating for students. I teach a mixed age class and would love to have a copy of the planning sheet to start them on this exciting challenge.
    kajarvis@yahoo.com

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  18. I love how these turned out! I am very interested in doing this project as well if you wouldn't mind emailing me your worksheet! Thank you!! LSlusher14@gmail.com

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  19. Opps! My email above auto corrected! It's kajarvis@fcps.edu

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    1. Just uploaded it here - enjoy! https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Mrs-Knights-Smartest-Artists

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  20. Hi guys - thanks for all the great feedback! I just added the worksheet to my TpT store, and I made it slightly more universal fir those who want to do the drawing version rather than collage. Have fun!!! https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Mrs-Knights-Smartest-Artists

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  21. Wow! Wow! Wow! I am putting this into my grade 4 planner for next year! and fantastic to see the idea development in your worksheet which I would do in my students art journals. I have really got into the swing of art journals with my grade 3-6 students this year. it has been very freeing for the students to realise that artists ideas develop and change and that is part of the design/ artistic process. I try to look for sketchbook/journal examples now for all artists we are studying and the children love looking at and discussing them. Thanks for the inspiration.

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  22. I love this! Could I please get your worksheet for this? jannesbz@gmail.com

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