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!