Sunday, March 18, 2012

Learning to Observe

Kindergarten and 1st Grade students are learning to observe through creating contour drawings. I worked in a small group with students observing details on plastic toy animals. Students noted size differences, color placement, and shape. Some students asked to envision where that animal might be outside.

1st Grade connected their animal drawings to Lascaux Cave paintings, which they are learning about in social studies. They understood how the first artists created records of the things they saw and were important to them and their society.


  1. I love the idea of starting with 3-D animals, and placing them in relationship to one another. I also love how what appears to be a cat is placed next to a doorway.
    I wonder if it might be possible to write down some of the dialogue during these sessions. What language do they use when they observe the models? How do they translate these observations into a 2-D representation? The fact that I can recognize the animals so easily indicates that there is a high level representative process.

  2. Great. Just did this with my Kindergarten classes. Used brown craft paper but had my students crumple up the paper to provide a rock like surface to draw on. After we completed them, I pushed two big tables together, blocked off the sides with cardboard and lined the interior with the cave drawings. The students entered the "cave" and viewed their drawings with a flashlight. They loved, loved, loved it.