Sunday, February 12, 2012

Optical Illusions - grade 5


I just adore doing optical illusions, and kids really seem to love them too. This is a great one that students can easily experience success with (especially if you use my template!)

Let me start by talking about the template. I debated for a while if I would give them one, wondering if I was giving them too much of an advantage or not. I decided to make a template with little ticks along the side, so they still have to use a ruler to make the lines, but it takes out the measuring aspect of it. So many kids struggle with that kind of thing, and I don't know if it's fair to make that an aspect of this art project. As it was, some of them even had trouble joining up the lines from the template. Anyway, I've uploaded the template for download here. Please let me know how it goes if you use it!


First, have students trace the lines on the template. I reminded them to trace LIGHTLY, as they will need to erase the lines in the circle afterwards. I tried to draw up how to do the circles, because I don't really know how to explain it well in words.

 There's 4 lines that go into the circles from the top, and 4 from the sides. Basically, students must erase the lines, and then redo them, but bump them towards the exterior of the circle. The top two lines in the circle will bump upwards, the bottom two downwards. The two leftmost will bump to the left, and the two rightmost will bump to the right. This was VERY complicated for my 5th graders, and some required a LOT of assistance!



I gave the students the option to add a T to the tender of the circle. This just breaks the middle section up a bit, and it also makes it easier for them to color in the checkerboard pattern . 

Once they are done this part, they can start the fun part - coloring them in! I showed them how to use gradient coloring techniques to add to the illusion, having the gradient get lighter as it got closer to the circles. Every second square was colored with Sharpie or markers.Some students mapped it out first, and some just went for it.


I advised them to color the background first, then do the circles. It seemed to make it easier on them.
 

This project is definitely a 3 period project - we have done two one hour periods, and only two kids are done so far. I can't wait to see how the rest turn out!

11 comments:

  1. Nice way to lay this lesson out. Please see my latest post. Hope this brings you more traffic...

    http://minimatisse.blogspot.com/2012/02/follow-these-two-new-blogs.html

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    1. This was so kind of you. It's given me a HUGE boost in traffic, which is so appreciated. From one art teacher to another, THANK YOU!

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  2. Hi! I join your blog, You are doing very interesting things! My blog is http://arteascuola-miriampaternoster.blogspot.com/. Nice to met you!
    Miriam

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    1. I followed you back, great looking blog!

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  3. Hi, I found you through Mrs. Hahn's post on her blog Mini Matisse. Nice blog; I'll be back to do more exploring.

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    1. That's wonderful - I'm a HUGE fan of your blog!! I am doing Wampum belts with my class this week :)

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  4. I personally think the template is a great idea. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. This is fantastic!! I am a student teacher for a middle school. I would like to do a unit on optical illusions!! I am going to use this as a mini lesson in a larger unit!! Thank you so much for doing this! I can't tell you how this has helped me. Earlier, on a different site,I saw the photo of an optical illusion that resembles a square inside of a square. Would you have any idea how I could make the square as well??
    Thanks again! Gina Bruce

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  6. This is great! I did have to translate it to Finnish to be able to use it for my 5th grade. Thank you for this and for template too. We haven't finished it yet, but it started very well.

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