I know that my students, especially the sixth graders have so much fun distorting their image and the image of others. To make the lesson more relevant, I purchase a copy of the Weekly World News and show them some of the feature stories, such as:
600 LB. GAL ADOPTS WORLD'S FATTEST CAT
MEET SANDRA, THE WORLD'S FIRST HUMAN KANGAROO
EVIL MOLE PEOPLE FOUND IN WYOMING
They can see that most of the images accompanying the stories are merely distortions created by graphic designers working for the publication and NOT really true. visual Literacy is SO important!
Please review the magazine before showing it to middle school students as some stories are inappropriate.
Adapt elementary lesson plan below to your needs.
My 7th graders love using Liquefy to distort portraits. When I
introduce the project I stress that students can only alter a persons
portrait if they get permission from the person and they are never to
taunt or tease anyone by altering their portrait.
From Judy: One of my students used the President's face in her
Renaissance portrait. I am sure he was flattered (smile) - but of course
we never heard from him. We did get permission to use an artist's column
(digital rendering)- and that artist was pleased, too. He was amazed at
what my 8th graders were doing.
Submitted by: Aaron Hopkins, Washington County Maryland Unit: Art and Technology - Portraits Lesson Plan: Digital Self Portraits Grade Level: Elementary (grade 3 through 6) Teacher
sample at left.
Objectives: Students will
Download an image into the computer - re-name a file
Use basic brush tools and shape tools
Use color to express emotion - learn how to manipulate color
using photo editing software
Use elements and principles of design to create a digital
Take digital images of students and save to floppy disks - label with
students' names. Sony Mavica Cameras are nice for this since the pictures
are stored on disks. Be familiar with your software and what it can and
can't do. Instructions below will vary... these are just here to guide you.
Note: Aaron has a simple digital studio consisting of a digital camera,
flatbed scanner, digital sketch board, a pc, and printer. With it,
students create digital photos, collages, drawings, paintings, and other
works that can be printed as decals, iron-on's, canvas art, and more.
Present several portraits to students - discuss uses of colors - how
does color show emotion?
Demonstrate/review how to rename an image (name with student's name)
- Demonstrate/review how open a file into the software
Demonstrate how to use the brush tools - shape - and line tools -
demonstrate using filters - contrast/brightness - hue and saturation
to manipulate the image.
Demonstrate/review how to save an image to floppy disk (or hard
drive)- giving file
a different name (student name with a 2 after it so as not to lose the
Plug in the flash drive in the computer's USB port- Open A drive - Find image of
photograph on disk - right click on image icon to rename image. Name
with student name (or open student file on computer. Aaron saves all
images into class folders on his computer. He works with students one
at a time).
Click on software icon to open - Go to file and open image - look in
Experiment with different filters to change range of values - create
higher contrast. Undo any effect you don't like.
Experiment with different brushes in negative space - break up the
background in an interesting way - try line tool. Create emphasis -
have portrait be center of interest. Try different patterns. Be sure
to undo anything you do not like. At any time along the way - if you
get something you like - Save the image onto you disk. Save as - save
to A drive - same as your name with a number 2 after it for the second
image - a number 3 after our name for the third image and so on.
Experiment with shape tools - try different effects in background -
blur and smudge lines. Experiment with different flood fill - graded
fill and so on.
Students could create a slide show in Power Point of their images if
desired. Print the image that is most successful.
Did students demonstrate knowledge in opening and naming files?
Did student show understanding of various brush and line tools available
with the software?
Did students use color in an expressive way to show emotion? Did
they utilize the elements and principles of design in an effective
Did they show knowledge of how to save a file?
Susan Lamban adds:
My photographs (Starry Nite Graphics by Susan Lamson) are digitally rendered using Adobe Photoshop, Painter, and Kai Soap. I used to have access to the lab at out elementary school, and used a downscaled version of Painter caller "Art Dabbler" with my students to do a graphics project. We utilized seriation, and focused on Andy Warhol, with his repeated portrait images. Students began by creating large scale complementary color scheme oil pastel portraits. After completing these, we used the digital camera to take portraits of each 4th grader, so that they could each have a file to alter in the lab. Students saved each rendering under a different file name, creating a series of four images from the original photograph. It was a fabulous lesson, and the kids thoroughly enjoyed it. (From Judy Decker: Middle School students enjoy this lesson, too)
I’ve began doing projects like this in the mid 90’s when AppleWorks was ClarisWorks. It is really quite simple to do in AppleWorks’ Drawing component because it uses layers. For those of you lucky enough to have Photoshop or Photoshop Elements or any other program which utilizes layers, this project can be done in them, too. [Photoshop and Photoshop Elements can be bought at the Adobe Software Page]
I always liked AppleWorks. Teachers can purchase it direct from Apple www.apple.com in Mac or PC format for about 39 bucks. Also, find out more by
joining the AppleWorks User Group www.awug.org
NOTE: Since the posting of this lesson, Appleworks has been replaced by iWork. They have recently come out with a replacement for that one called Pages but you have to buy a Mac to get that one.