Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dream-Scapes inspired by Chagall

A few weeks ago, third grade learned how to draw with glue and then how use chalk pastels to make the lines of dried glue appear. While learning about the process, 3rd grade was also exploring the work of Marc Chagall. The students learned about his use of personal icons - such as the Eiffel tower, flying people and the Russian village where he grew up. They also learned how he created works based on memories and dreams.

Students brainstormed and created their own personal icons based on significant persons, places, things, and memories from their own lives. They explored different ways to make icons for the same subject - for example, an icon representing the game of baseball could be a bat, a glove, a hat, a baseball diamond, etc. Students chose at least 6 of their icons to put together to make a dream composition. They lightly sketched their dream in pencil on a large piece of colored construction paper. Then, they used their skills at drawing with glue and coloring with chalk to finish their work.

One hint for teaching this unit: When students are drawing their final dream-scape from their sheet of personal icons, I have them choose where they want the dream to take place first. If they are choosing an indoor setting, I teach them how to draw a simple 3-dimensional room. For an outdoor setting, I remind them about landscapes and recommend the use of a horizon line. Of course, students can compose their dreams any way they want, but I find that if I do not give them these tips, then the icons are often placed randomly around the page - which I call "floating icons".
I am so proud of the 3rd graders - these dreams are so vivid and interesting!


Mrs. Weymouth said...

I'm sure to have sweet dreams after looking at these lovely images. Thanks 3rd graders!

School for Us said...

What a neat project! Do you just "draw" with glue on any colored paper? And then use the chalk pastels? I love the effect!

Thanks for dropping by my blog and leaving some comments. :-)

Katie Gonzalez said...

I let the students choose any color construction paper they wanted (some people prefer just black paper, but I think any dark color works just as well.) The lighter colors, like pink and yellow, don't show up quite as well, but with thicker glue lines it turned out just fine! The fun messy part is that you have to rub the chalk in to make the glue lines pop out. Lots of color-mixing and blending makes it an even more exciting learning experience.
This process is great with any drawing unit! The students love it, and I love making my examples!

Thank you for stopping by, too!