Visual literacy requires clear communication through images; both creating and interpreting
I had the honor of being interviewed for the Jiffy Pop Podcast towards the end of summer. I talked about my take on creativity, how we learn from failure, and how making art brings me joy. See theshow notes to learn about the projects and hashtags we discussed. Thanks to Todd and Jen for including me in your podcast!
5th graders have been studying the magical animations of Evan Hilton to try to understand how they are made. We looked frame by frame at his ideas and a couple ideas from Andy Martin that used clay and other objects in a progression of stages to make things melt, shrink, grow, change, and other magical things. I gave my students these think sheets to help them make a plan for an animation using objects from the art room and model magic clay. Each student will be the director of their short stop-motion animation so, they have to be able to clearly communicate their vision to their animators and photographer when it's their turn to make the magic happen.
Results: students' illusions
Feedback from our inspiration:
My transdigital approach to art education merges both traditional and digital methods across physical and digital spaces while giving students an opportunity to dive into ideas that were previously beyond what I could otherwise offer. Take a peek at the lessons I designed to help redefine learning for my elementary art students.
Links to Lessons Showcased in Video:
Students drew their Lima Bean monster on paper, traced it with black marker in the photos below. Next they will try to paint with color balance neatly and completely.
Students were inspired by the story, Lima Bean Monster by Dan Yaccarino.
We also enjoyed the song, Veggie Rock Song Fizzy's Lunch Lab on PBSkids.
We used the handouts in our Lima Bean Monster Packet to get ideas for Eyes, Noses, Mouths, expressive eyebrows, and teeth. Students each made their own choices and drew as big and expressively as possible. I also printed out these examples for each student.
Results: Finished paintings on Artsonia
First graders are posing with their favorite vegetable in front of green screen so they can become the body of their lima bean monster. These photos will be combined with their artwork to help make an EAT YOUR VEGGIES poster.
EAT YOUR VEGGIES POSTERS
First graders had their first iPad creation experience this year by combining their lima bean monster (with body) and a background with text. They downloaded the files from dropbox, imported them into the superimpose app, resized and placed their figure, added a drop shadow, saved, uploaded the finished graphic design to the correct folder in dropbox and renamed it. (whew!)
1-1 Class Movie
1-2 Class Movie
1-3 Class Movie
1st Grade Multi-Age
5th graders are going to do an all grade-level collaboration in celebration of International Dot Day. They will contribute an exquisite corpse drawing of either a HEAD, MIDDLE, or LEGS on a cardboard cube. This idea was inspired by the IAEA conference. They had the cubes set up on tables for us all to draw on in pencil. I took some back with me to inspire my students...and it worked. My students were very inspired by them and were begging to try it too. So, I used our amazon gift card from winning a NextVista.org contest to buy the boxes for this year.
See the slideshow video below for creative solutions from artists and illustrators. These examples come from this Kids @ Random lesson. I made them into handouts as well.
Exquisite Corpse Examples by Slidely Slideshow
I made these into a four-page handout to print and put at tables as resources.
When I was at the IAEA conference last year, I was very inspired by this lesson. Not everyone was taking the time to create, so I did three drawings on one side of a stack of boxes. Later, I took this picture and reflected. I like to be different and break the rules when I create art, but would that work during a collaboration?
Examples: Bold, big, patterned, painted
Students Working: (in progress)
Students are done designing their "head", "middle", or "legs" and began their first step of painting. They traced their design in black marker, erased the pencil lines, and painted a solid background color. They had to choose a color that was different than their neighbors. Each started painting from right to left so that the middle line of paint might be dry when the second artist paints next to it. The boxes are laid flat until we are finished painting. I pulled some off the drying rack (below) to get a glimpse of some future combinations. Aren't these fun?
Below is a peek at some of our finished painted heads, middles, and legs. View the whole gallery on Artsonia here.
Digital Exquisite Corpse Collages
Each student will make a digital collage of their piece and two classmates using Pic Collage for Kids. See the gallery here.
Math Problems based on Art
Our 24 boxes with various combinations created these math problems.
View the answers here.
Resource: Monster Mixer Online Game
Here is another online game called switcheroo by crayola that helps you think of creative heads, middles, and legs as well as arms, wings, and whatevers...
CREATING DIGITALLY: Years ago, before we were a 1:1 iPad art room, we used our limited number of iPads to make collaborative exquisite corpse drawings. Here is a link to that lesson and template.
DISPLAYING DIGITALLY: Each square created will be photographed for students' online digital art gallery. These can be added to folders on our dropbox where students can combine a head, middle, and legs of their choices (one being their own) to make a fun digital combination. I used the Superimpose app and its perspective tool to line up the squares on top of a real photo to create this effect.
USING PERSPECTIVE TOOL IN SUPERIMPOSE APP:
First import the template (above) as the background layer then follow these steps. I made the directions into this printable PDF here or view the pages below.
5th graders inspiring us all
During the last week of school we are going to use the fifth graders' art to inspire the rest of the school to try the Exquisite Corpse game using the game sheet below or here.
I wanted to see if an app I already had on my iPad, the Green Screen app by Do Ink, could help create a ghostly illusion. I knew that you would have to be able to combine a layer of the environment without a figure under a layer of video from the same exact view of the environment. This layer (the one with the figure) would need to have less opacity (be made semi-transparent) so that it appeared that they were see through.
BUT, the green screen app takes away some of the difficulty of creating two exact videos with and without a figure since you can layer using the magic of green screen over anything and change the opacity with their mask tool. Here is how I was able to achieve the effect. There might be an easier way, but this is pretty simple.
Haunted Masterpieces: using this illusion
Now that I know I can get this effect to work using an app my students already have available to them in the art room, I thought about what content I could teach that would make this illusion necessary. I came up with the idea of Haunted Masterpieces. This would teach, art history, creative writing, storytelling through body language, digital layering, and transparency by having students enter a piece of artwork as a ghost and tell the story of why they are there. This would be a short campfire ghost story that would engage students in a piece of art and its artist.
STEP ONE: Mask out the figure from the artwork (if necessary)
I started with a piece of art, The Scream by Edvard Munch, where I had masked out the figure by matching the colors and textures in a drawing app (see video below or just grab mine here). You might choose a painting with plenty of blank space like an Edward Hopper painting (see my curated collection) or no figures like a landscape or still life. In that case you might choose to skip this step.
STEP TWO: Film the green screen video of the student
Before you film, the student needs to know their story and be prepared use their body language to help tell the story. It might be fun to come prepared in costume or with props. I think a two second clip is all that is necessary. They will write their story and make their haunted video into a looping gif or still image. Filming with audio where the student explains their story would work as well, but each audio clip would need to be short enough that a class video would remain under 3 mins (to keep it engaging). Capturing audio while the student is in front of green screen and backed away from the iPad filming him/her is tricky. You could set up an external iPad mic and have the class completely silent. Or, you can put a lapel mic on the subject if you think you can hide it for the filming. That takes time so classroom management would be more difficult.
STEP THREE: Create the ghostly illusion
The illusion doesn't happen during real-time green screen capture. It happens in post-production. So, students would need to gather their background image and green screen video into their iPad camera roll and open up the Green Screen app by Do Ink. The background image goes on the lowest level. The green screen video goes above it. The app will automatically remove the green but you will need to crop, resize, position the ghost, and mask it to make it semi-transparent to complete the effect.
STEP FOUR: Convert to a gif and caption it with the ghost story
Students can pull up the website EZGIF.com from their iPads and upload the video from their camera roll to convert it to a gif. These can then be displayed on my weebly blog and shared on their online art gallery. They could use the caption tool for the image to tell their story (or use the artist statement section on Artsonia to share in their portfolio.)
Layering into artwork with masking:
The techniques I shared above have the ghost layered over the painting with or without an erased (or masked) element. The easiest and fastest solution to this effect is to find a painting with open space and layer the ghost into it. If you want to explore more advanced approach, you can create an effect where the ghost is layered into the painting as if they are behind elements of the painting. This effect can be created through masking of the original image. All of this can be done in the Green Screen App using their masking tools however, I find it easier to mask images in superimpose app and save them as "mask png" which holds it's transparency in the iPad camera roll. I have a tutorial showing how to use this app this way (see beginning of this video near 2:40).
Now that the background has been erased, the ghost image can be added between these two layers. The green screen app by Do Ink gives you 3 layers to work with:
TOP LAYER: Masked Image (becomes the foreground)
MIDDLE LAYER: The green screen video (looks like it behind the figure in painting)
BOTTOM LAYER: Original painting lined up exactly with the masked image above
Add the frame and museum label
The visual arts national standards emphasize presenting artwork. This lesson could be a fun way to approach the topic by having students CURATE A HAUNTED MUSEUM. After they create their haunted animation, they could frame and label the piece with artist, title, and other information. We could set up a "virtual tour" with their narration presented as a class movie.
Viewing via AR
I picture having the art room set up with prints of masterpieces that people can scan with an AR app to learn of how it was haunted. This story about using AR to view stolen paintings is similar.
We are the 2nd place winner of the ISTE Technology in Action Video Contest.
See my post for more info.
View our Entry for the What's Your Story
Internet Safety Contest
(Won the 2nd Place Prize)
View this musical tribute to the hard working teachers at Dryden and the students they love to teach.
Tricia Fuglestad, NBCT 07
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