Since this is my Fun Friday post for the week, I will not go into all of the ways you could connect this to classroom learning. Just watch, and enjoy!
I would be the first to raise my hand in a Superdome full of people if the following question was asked, “Who is the worst art teacher out there?” But if I can find a way to integrate art and technology, my lessons are sometimes fairly successful. This was one of those activities.
To complete this project we used the iPad camera, Tracing Paper Lite (free), and TypeDrawing ($2.99). There is a web site, Texter, that performs like TypeDrawing, and is free. However it does not have the font choices and the ability to import a picture as a background.
The students took pictures of each other in profile on the iPads. Then they opened Tracing Paper Lite, imported their pictures, and traced their silhouettes. If traced so that the silhouette has no openings, the students can then fill it with black paint. Because they were using Tracing Paper Lite, which did not have an easy way to export their silhouettes, I had them take screen shots (be sure to get rid of the grid in the background first), and crop them in the Photo Album. Then they opened TypeDrawing (here is a SnapGuide to using this app), imported the silhouettes, and added the traits that they felt characterized them.
I have seen this done without the use of technology, but the students enjoyed the freedom TypeDrawing gave to personalize the fonts, the colors, and even the direction of the words. Does anyone else have ideas for how this could be used?
I found “29 Ways to Stay Creative”, created by TO-FU Designs, on the Innovation Excellence blog. I’m not sure about the advice to “Drink coffee”, but I am definitely on board with the other 28. I already sing in the shower, so at least I’m taking a step in the right direction. My favorite one is, “Stop trying to be someone else’s perfect.” I think I’m going to print that one out and post it in my classroom.
Joe Hanson featured Kyle Bean’s “Brains” on It’s Okay to Be Smart – not his actual brains, of course – and I knew it would make a great Fun Friday post. When I visited Bean’s website, however, I found so many other works of art that I could tie into my curriculum, I had to take notes. Here are some of the links and my ideas…
Brains – what other objects could you use? (that’s toothpaste in the first one!!!)
Stick Insects - make matchstick art of their own
Interconnected Senses - what other systems could be represented this way?
The Sea of Time - assign students to represent an idiom with 3d objects
The Future of Books - have students design other futuristic hybrids
Paper Plane – they will just think this is cool!
The Science of Play - I think this is cool!
10 Ideas - great graphic to show when you want students to make a “Top 10″ list – like “Top 10 List of Top 10 Lists”
Pencil Shaving Portraits - make your own (maybe a Mother’s Day gift?)
What Came First - what else can we sculpture with eggshells (thoroughly sanitized, of course)?
I love it when a Fun Friday post just falls into my lap as it did this week. I found this video on It’s Okay to Be Smart. I am definitely going to be adding this to my Pinterest Board of Inspirational Videos for Students. It is a film of Wil Wheaton (you know – of Star Trek, Stand By Me, and Big Bang Theory fame) giving advice to a mother’s newborn daughter about why it’s awesome to be a nerd. He might have just become my favorite nerd of all time…
If you like this message, you might also want to check out my post, “It’s a Nerd’s World“, featuring a great article on this topic.
Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
Scott Adams (1957 – ____) US cartoonist, author
The Dilbert Principle
There are many misconceptions about creativity, I’ve found, and one of them is that creativity can only result in perfection. The article, “9 Illuminating Lessons on Creativity”, by Margarita Tartakovsky at PsychCentral.com, dispels this myth and a few other common ones. I often talk about creativity with my students, but I don’t recall having an in-depth conversation with them about the process – other than the importance of brainstorming and trying to be “different”. It would be interesting to initiate a Socratic Dialogue with my older students about some of these statements, such as, “Everyone is creative.” Is creativity an inherent talent in a select few, or a potential in all of us? This article may make you question your own perception of creativity.
I found out about the Video Writing Prompts site from one of my new, favorite blogs, Technology Tailgate. Video Writing Prompts is part of teachhub.com. What’s nice about this resource is that it has done all of the work for teachers by collecting the videos and offering thought-provoking questions for different sets of grade levels. Many of the videos are movie trailers, and not all of them would work with elementary kids. But if you click on the link, you will see the appropriate grade levels and questions. (As always with videos, however, please preview before you show your class.) I can think of some higher level questions to go with some of the videos, but the fact that they are already curated and have some suggestions gives me a great jumping off point.
“Change the Equation” is a website that is devoted to “Inspiring Youth in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math”. It offers current news about S.T.E.M., resources for learning about S.T.E.M., videos, and sobering statistics (called “STEMtistics”) about how far behind the United States has fallen in the areas of math and science education. The “Change the Equation” blog is also very informative. From this site, I found my way to their YouTube Channel that features some videos from their “S.T.E.M. is Cool Video Contest”. I particularly liked the one below, which really summarizes the value of learning math and science in school to prepare for those “cool” jobs like designing video games.