Drawing Into The Imagination
Project URL: http://teachnet-lab.org/huck/templates/drawingindex.htm
How it works:
Sixth grade students are introduced to
the work of artist Saul Steinberg by visiting online galleries of his work
and looking at photo reproductions. They each choose an image that "draws
them in" and imagine themselves jumping into a section of the image
narrative. After discussing the style typical of Steinberg
drawings--mostly black and white lines with crosshatching to show depth--students
are ready to brainstorm and sketch their own story idea and visuals.
A storyboard guides them through the process, and all drawing is done in Photoshop. The story is
then inserted into a Dreamweaver template of five web pages to illustrate
a story with two possible plots and endings. The projects are displayed online in the teacher's virtual
Students understand and apply media, techniques, and processes related
to the visual arts; use structures (e.g., sensory qualities,
organizational principles, and expressive features) and functions of art.
They learn what makes various organizational structures effective (or ineffective) in the communication of ideas, and
use content, style, and structure (e.g., formal or informal language,
genre, and organization) appropriate for specific audiences and purposes
(e.g., to entertain, to influence, and to inform).
Required materials include a networked Macintosh lab with
Internet connection, Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Dreamweaver, and
Microsoft Word. This project could easily be adapted for use with
other photo imaging and web authoring software.
Drawing Into The Imagination was
created for sixth grade digital art students at the Institute for
Collaborative Education, a small, diverse New York City public school for
grades six through twelve. The students had little or no prior experience
with digital media drawing and web authoring.
By focusing on multiple interpretations of Saul Steinberg's
work (which may not previously be familiar to most participants),
the students exercise their imaginations and are inspired to write and
illustrate their own fantasy stories. They learn to create a non-linear
story with multiple possibilities and endings. The visual narratives are
linked via text and imagery. Each student becomes an author and web
Borrow a book on the work of Saul
Steinberg and make photocopies of some of the drawings for students to
interpret (in addition to works found on the Internet). Require the
students to have their storyboards with them every day until the project
is finished, so they keep their goals in mind.
About the teacher:
Meryl Meisler, digital
art teacher at the Institute for Collaborative Education, began teaching
in 1979. She has received a Disney American Teacher Award in visual arts,
serves on the Teachers Network Board of Directors, and is a consultant to
the Whitney Museum's online learning department. Meryl is an accomplished
artist in her own right.
Areas: Visual Arts