Lesson Plan Submitted by: Mike Berry
Cheetham Community School, Manchester England. Grades: Grades 2 to 6
Get a piece of rectangular A3 size white paper. Lay it down, longest side horizontal. Fold upwards in half and half again. Unfold. You now have four rectangles.
Begin at the left hand side of the bottom rectangle and draw the outline of a skyline across the paper to the other side. Use a continuous line and vary it by horizontal and vertical movements, use rectangles, squares semi circles etc. It should look like roof / building tops.
Repeat this in each of the four rectangles. Ask the children to vary the shapes to make them more interesting. With older children you can fold the paper 3 times instead of twice to get 8 rectangles. They can have 8 different skylines instead of just 4.
Now get the children to choose one colour either hot or cold. Plus they need some white and black paint. Begin at the bottom and get them to mix a lot of black with the colour. Block out the whole of the first shape in that colour. Now move to the next skyline up and add just a little black and block out. Then move up to the top half and add a little white to the colour and repeat. Finally add a lot of white to the colour for the last skyline.
If you have used more shapes say 8 then children need to grade their additions of white and black.
Finally at the top of the paper colour the sky black. The effect is really dramatic. There is a sense of perspective because the lower colour is dark and the furthest away buildings a pale. With young children it is an excellent way of explaining that things seem lighter the further away they are.
You can get them to randomly cut out some squares, rectangles and semi circles of different sizes in a bright yellow (I use sticky gummed paper for this) and they can add them to their picture in a random way as windows.
The whole effect is really superb and the whole lesson only takes approximately 1hour from beginning to end.
You could vary the exercise by using wallpaper of similar colour but different tonal ranges. Stuck down with glue - this is also an excellent effect.
I would say that this lesson can be done with children of all ages between 7years and 11 years. For the younger ones just use 4 skylines for the older ones the paper can be folded an extra time to give 8 divisions and 8 skylines. It also acts as a good exercise in mixing different grades of one colour with black and white.
This photo illustrates well how the farther away a building is, the lighter it becomes.
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