6th Grade Identity Silhouettes

I did this lesson last year at my old school. I adore this lesson, and I think the students are really into it for the most part.

I borrowed the lesson from this art teacher.

In my introduction at my previous school we talked in length about Archimboldo and Cara Walker. I also had the students complete a Venn diagram comparing two of the artists silhouette styles. Then I had students make a list of 30 things that represented them. I had a large example of my own that showed my silhouette as well as my list next to it. While they were making their list and sketching their images of the 30 things, I was furiously tracing their silhouettes.

At my previous school, I did the project with 3rd-5th graders and they were fantastic. I of course had to edit what I showed of Walker’s work, but that’s no big deal. We took the time to talk out our ideas, and for them to sketch everything out.

This year at my new school I had a student teacher and she took on the project. She edited the lesson a little bit to speed it along, which I understand, but ultimately, I think some students work suffered from that. These kids have never had art before and their confidence and skill is lacking in what the can do. I know my student teacher did not feel the project was a success. I think she felt the students were not ready for this level of work, but I think they were and are. They just needed a little more guidance. The above images are 3 of those 6th graders, granted they are the more talented ones, but still- pretty darn good. Just looking at those I wouldn’t call the project a failure. The other silhouettes were half finished or poorly filled in space. In retrospect, I should have given her more feedback on how she delivered that lesson. My bad. It was my first student teacher. Lesson learned all around right? Don’t get me wrong, she was fantastic! She did some wonderful lessons with my students, and hopefully we stay in touch.

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