Monday, January 21, 2013

Egyptian Pharaoh Portraits

Probably four or five years ago, I purchased one of Patty's first PDF packages at Deep Space Sparkle. At the time I was working for a summer camp as the art specialist and this lesson fit in perfectly with our "World" theme that year. Since then, I have completed this lesson at two different middle schools. I love it because from the teacher's point of view, you can really use whatever materials you have and you know your students are going to be successful. From the student's point of view, it may be a challenge to draw a face, but its well worth the "risk" and there is plenty of room for creativity.

This year, students used oil pastels and metallic color pencils on black paper. Students were encouraged to blend oil pastels to make new tints and shades, especially for the skin tone.
Another reason I like this lesson is because both boys and girls tend to like it. Middle school students can get a little touchy if topics aren't approachable for them. Selecting lessons that are welcoming for all students is something to really think about when selecting any lesson really.

It wasn't a requirement, but students were encouraged to integrate their background knowledge in their designs. I have been trying this year to have my seventh grade lessons follow the chronological order of the Ancient Civilizations students are learning about in Social Studies. I have also been using Visual Thinking Strategies whenever possible this year. For this lesson, I projected an image of a mummy mask, straight from the Museum of Fine Arts' (Boston) online collection, and we discussed what we saw using VTS. Allowing students to make connections on their own, with just a little guidance from me, made this lesson a richer experience.

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