Week 5: Colouring, Collages, Robots and Magazines

This week the Prep students worked on carefully colouring in pictures using a stylus, the Grade 1&2s took went for a photowalk and created nature collages, the Grade 3&4s got to know Illustrator by drawing a robot using shapes, and the Grade 5&6s learned how to set out a professional magazine spread.

COLOURING ON THE IPAD

Continuing with the app DrawingPad, I showed the Prep students how to access the two colouring books that come preloaded with the app. The students then could choose which pictures to colour in. For this lesson, I let them choose whichever tool they wanted (marker, paint, crayon, pencils, etc) but next week we’ll do the same thing but limit it to pencils and crayons so we can get more accurate colouring in. Those pictures we’ll save for their end of semester portfolio.

NATURE COLLAGES

I took the Grades 1 & 2s on a photowalk (a field trip, if you like) to take some nature photos for a collage they would make. We started off talking about what a collage is and how you would traditionally make one using scissors and glue. I took the Grade 1s to our Wetlands area and the Grade 2s to our Indigenous Garden. I instructed them to only take photos of nature – no people, no buildings, no cars. I also asked them to do close up photography.

Once the photos were taken, we came back inside, and I demonstrated the LiveCollage app. It’s pretty simple to use, and the results were pretty exciting. I was going to use PicCollage, but I liked LiveCollage better. Here is a video that explains it:

Here are some collages from the Grade 1s in the Wetlands:

And here are some collages from the Grade 2s in the Indigenous Garden:

DRAWING ROBOTS IN ILLUSTRATOR

Given that I’m hopeless at drawing, you wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Illustrator is not a widely used program for me. But like with tracings, I do know some cheats. And one of them is drawing, using shapes and lines.

To that end, I showed the student a picture of a robot that I wanted them to recreate as accurately as possible. I showed them the tools they needed (mostly the shape and line tools) and how to manipulate the shapes by either size, rotation or weight. We looked at how to copy and paste elements (such as eyes, arms and legs) to save time and also to look accurate.

The idea behind them copying what I had done is that I wanted them to experience all the shapes and how they can be used. Any students who finished early could colour in with various fills.

This project carries over next week, as one session is not enough. I’ll discuss more about some of the issues we had in the next post.

Here is a link to a video where I demonstrate how to draw the robot:

MAGAZINES SPREADS IN ADOBE INDESIGN

One of the key things I wanted to get out of doing Media Arts as a full time specialist subject is to expose students to professional techniques in creating various creative projects. Page layout is not something kids (or many adults) really think about when flipping through a magazine, but it’s an important skill to understand. Ultimately, if I can get kids to think differently about presenting their work, instead of just typing up something in Word, then I’ve done my job.

I approached this slightly differently for the Grade 5s and the Grade 6s. Although essentially doing the same thing, the Grade 5s would be making a mock magazine spread (ostensibly related to their biodiversity theme). The Grade 6s would be doing the same designs but they would import a report they did last term on natural disaster into the text columns to make it more relevant.

I had a pack of cards made up of different magazine spreads. I explained that the content wasn’t important, we were looking at the designs. How the heading is placed, how many columns, coloured boxes, pull quotes, captions and images were all discussed.

Their job was to recreate the design on their card in InDesign using relevant photos and placeholder text. The Grade 6s then had the additional job of importing text from their previous report into the spread. Below is a video explaining and modelling the process.

This lesson will go over three weeks as there is a lot to learn and a lot to do. I will share the students’ work at the end of it.