Thursday, March 1, 2012

Making ourselves into centenarians while reflecting on the 100th day of school ;)

Although I typically create my own lessons, I fell so in love with this one by Rama Hughes while reading one of my School Arts magazines (always a good resource for art educators!) that I couldn't pass it up. It also went perfectly in hand with what the kids were doing outside of the art room.

The week that we celebrated the 100th day of school our faculty decided to have our students dress up as if they were 100 years old. In the art room, we learned about what a centenarian is and we discussed what it might be like when we are 100 years old (interesting conversation! ;)). I had taken a photo of each student in the preceding weeks and printed them out as 8x10 black and white prints. I also printed out 8x10 photos of several centenarians that I found on the internet.

The students first traced their own picture on tracing paper. This is trickier than it sounds! I reminded them to see what the "real" shape of their eye or nose is....not just a circle or oval. Then they took their tracing paper and laid it over one of the centenarians photos. They traced the centenarians wrinkles, hair, moles, age spots, etc. onto their own faces and turned the drawing of themselves into a drawing of them at 100 years old. It was so fun to hear them explore what it might be like when they get wrinkled necks and can't see or hear as well.

I introduced what carbon paper is (they LOVED the carbon paper) and they transferred their tracing paper drawings onto thick paper. We discussed low lights and highlights on our faces as well as skin color. I gave them a few mixing color formulas for watercolor paints and let them experiment mixing their own too. They first painted in the low lights and then added the skin color. They painted their hair and backgrounds however they chose. We used watercolor pencils for details.

It was incredible how many skills and wonderful conversations we touched on in just one 2 week lesson!! It was also super adorable to see them come up with aging attributes they may have one day ;).

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