Danielle (staminiarose) wrote in arted,

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Hi all,

I was wondering, do you make your students make their own viewfinders when you want to teach them perspective? Additionally, how do you go about doing that? I find that students from age 8 to 18 often have trouble drawing a straight line with a ruler and measuring anything that is not 1 inch in length. Is their a foolproof way to do this without wasting too many materials?
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That is definitely a possibility at least for finding a composition they would like to work with. I talked to my other friend who is an art teacher, and she said that the viewfinder I'm looking to make could work 2 ways. Either you have students make them in an upper level drawing class (Drawing 2+ because by that time they'd want to be able to draw really accurately) or to make 20 or so of them yourself and ask students to sign them out and if not returned enact some sort of consequence.
I have my kids create a simple viewfinder as a group. They have regular supplies, but I make the example from a piece of posterboard and jumbo paperclips or binderclips so they can see how I've marked mine before we start cutting. I don't know if I'd outsource this project to an upper level class - if your students are having issues working with the supplies, the practice would probably do them good.
Kids can't draw a straight line with a ruler, this is true. I think it has to do with coordination as much as anything. But there is some technique you could try to teach them. Two points (at minimum) determine a line. Kids need to be pressing on the ruler at two points at least to hold it down when they draw along side it, or it will pivot or slide. So that means they have to spread out their fingers and thumb when holding down the ruler. Also, they might need a hint about how to draw along side the ruler instead of pressing their drawing tool too hard against the ruler and pushing it out of alignment.

As far as measuring things go- yeah, they just need practice and experience. This could translate to wasted materials, so practice on newsprint or similar.
and measuring anything that is not 1 inch in length.

Great opportunity here to illustrate the relevance of your school art department, because very obviously, Teaching To The Test (presumably your school district is shackled to standardized testing) isn't working for your math department.

To that end, why not use this as an opportunity to teach the Golden Ratio, upon which a lot of art is based?
as for the viewfinder - i have kids make them out of two strips of paper - fold each into an L shape (which can be done on the corner of a table if they are not good at right angles) and then tape them together.....as for using a ruler and measuring - idk about your standardized tests but my state tests did require our students to use a ruler - so teaching them that skill can be good both of artworks and you can say that you are "assisting" in skills that will be used on the tests (whihc nasy admins tend to like)



May 21 2010, 07:17:08 UTC 7 years ago

Give students exercise of writing 1 or L. Because these are the number and alphabet that have straight line. Let them recognize it. This way they will learn easily to draw straight line.

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I know you aren't up for wasting a lot of supplies but a cheap pack of index cards or post-its cut out the sqaure required for the view finder.

My personal favorite way to use create a view finder (and I recommend using a check out system for these) is by taking an old slide that is no longer of use and cutting out the middle. They're perfectly even in the edges, easily recyclable, and sturdy.