Friday, March 8, 2013

2012 Mixed Media Snowflakes

Part of our 6th Grade curriculum is that we teach a mixed media project. I had this group second quarter before Christmas break and wanted to focus on snowflakes. I found a great video clip of Wilson Bentley on youtube and introduced his photography to the class. I then compared  his original photographs to that of the scientist Kenneth Libbrecht and showed them a video clip on youtube about his high tech images of snowflakes. Students looked at printed images of both photographers and studied the structure of a snowflake. This was the foundation of our art project.

First students drew a symmetrical snowflake with 6 stems. I provided a hexagon for them to trace as the central point. They used rulers to draw the axis lines that went through the corners of the hexagon. The requirements were that they had to draw at least 6 different shapes along the stem of the snowflake. I then gave the students tracing paper and they traced the one stem and copied it onto the remaining 5 stems so that their snowflake was completely symmetrical.

After the students drew these snowflakes they were given 12x 18 watercolor paper and we used light tables to trace their snowflake drawing onto the watercolor paper. The kids then outlined their snowflake with sharpie. Next the students water colored their background around the sharpie snowflake. I taught the kids 8 different watercolor techniques and they were required to use cool colors so the projects looked more like winter. I had them outline their snowflakes with white crayon to resist the paint and they spent one class period watercoloring.

Next I taught the kids about the art of Kirigami and provided numerous kirigami snowflake patterns for them to draw from. The kids were required to make one kirigami snowflake from white paper and one from magazine. After these were cut out they used mod podge to glue their snowflakes on the watercolor paper. I had them paint a layer of mod podge over the entire project to give it a shiny surface. The kids really liked this project and the final results were wonderful. This is a great winter project!

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