Friday, August 16, 2013

Elements and Principles of Art

In the past 2 years, I've felt that I've been a little weak in teaching art vocabulary. When my students talk about art, they are quick to share what's happening in the picture, but slow to describe the formal qualities (elements and principles of art). This year, I decided to begin with an elements and principles game for the first day of art class.

I started out by making these posters.

Then, we went through the lists and the students defined the words if they could, and found the elements and principles in the art prints on my walls. The students knew many of the terms, because I usually focus on one element or principle on each art project. 

Then, we played elements and principles bingo! I made bingo sheets with the elements and principles of art in the boxes (a few words got repeated since a bingo card has 24 spaces, not including the free space). Then, I hung up an art print, and the students raised their hands to share an element or principle of art they saw in it. They had to describe how they saw it, for example, "I see balance because the shapes on the left side are the same size as the shapes on the right side." After the student explained his answer, I wrote the term on the board, and all of the students marked it off of their bingo sheet. If they had that word twice, they marked it off two times!

It went really well, and my students are really really using the elements and principles of art in descriptive sentences now! I am feeling really good about the start of this school year!