Thursday, September 18, 2014

Thursday Think Tank: 1-Point Perspective

Teaching my ART I kids about 1-Point Perspective! I saw this really great idea on the Art at Becker Middle School blog about masking tape perspective and I wanted to try it with the kids. I changed it up a bit, but using multi colored masking tape for the different parts of the perspective diagram.

I started by showing my classes this video of a time lapse one point perspective drawing of an alley way. During the video I asked my students to make observations about what was happening, what the artist was doing, or using to help him create his art. They were so transfixed! After the video I had the kids discuss with their table mates what they observed and then everyone, yes EVERYONE, took turns sharing. I got some great answers, here is what the students said:

-He used a ruler almost the whole time.
-He drew lightly with a pencil and then darkened it with a pen.
-He started in the center, from a point.
-Everything in the middle is smaller.
-He started with lines, but then suddenly it turned into a city.
-He used diagonal lines.
-At the end the drawing was 3D.

Afterward we dissected the main parts of 1 point perspective and added it into our sketchbook.  Key vocabulary we included: Horizon Line, Vanishing Point, Orthogonals, and Transversals.

The next day we reviewed the terms and took our learning to the hallway! Each table had a different colored masking tape and sharpies to label the pieces they added to the wall. (FYI Orthogonals take up A LOT of tape, we ran out of that color and had to switch some things around.)

Trying to make sure our Horizon Line is actually horizontal!
Adding windows making sure we've got the right diagonal angle!

This was so fun and colorful too!

I think it went really well! The kids had a great time and as we were working, a few teachers were walked by and one even stopped to take a few pictures! The next day before school began I had several math teachers speak to me about how much they loved seeing the math vocabulary (transversals and orthogonals) on the walls labeled. I was doing a little bit of cross curricular and I didn't even realize it!

The next phase of this one point perspective unit we also talked about birds eye view and we got started working on our own drawings. I gave the students a choice between the street view and birds eye view because I wanted them to have the option and also so that they would feel like were invested in the process.

We're gonna make a round about street in the center here!

Adding details! (sorry it's upside down!)
We're still working hard on these so I'll post the finished project soon!

How do you keep your kids, and yourself, excited about teaching perspective?


  1. OMG! I am so impressed with your lesson and it is so exciting to see how the kids embraced the idea. FABULOUS

    1. Thank you! I must say I really enjoyed it myself as well!

  2. That was great! We are working on this too, now going into the walls! I hope they really have fun with this project! :-)