Each year I start school with a theme that ties all classes together. This year our theme was architecture and communities, and my sixth-grade classes created imaginary villages. We started by
looking at various architectural styles
and then looked at the different ways
contemporary artists portray communities or architecture focusing on
Inviting the Muse
The inspiration for this project came
from a vacation to Amelia Island
in Florida. While visiting galleries
there, I noticed that quite a few artists
depicted quaint seaside cottages in
various ways, using color in a bright
“fauvist” style giving the cottages a
happy, carefree, tropical feel.
Hallie Vlahos, grade six.
IT TAKES A VILLAGE
We looked at these pictures
before students drew ideas into their
sketchbooks. Attention to detail was
extremely important, and whimsical,
unrealistic details were encouraged.
Creating a Community
Once a perfect cottage was designed,
students drew their cottages on 6 x
9" ( 15 x 23 cm) paper using only line.
The lines were traced with thin black
permanent markers and then the community spirit really kicked in.
We reviewed perspective guidelines: distance can be shown by placing smaller objects in back, placing
objects higher or closer to the horizon
line, and overlapping.
Each student was
given 18 x 24" ( 46 x
61 cm) color diffusion
paper, which is more
transparent then regular drawing paper.
They had to plan
their village so that
larger cottages were closer
to the bottom and smaller
cottages were higher on the
Students traced each
of their own cottages, and
then traded cottages with
other classmates so each
time they drew a cottage it
was different. They filled
the large paper with differ-
ent styles of cottages until
the paper was full and some
of the larger cottages over-
lapped smaller ones. Land-
scaping details were added,
including paths, trees,
bushes, flowers, etc. The horizon line
was added last.
Pam Kuharic is an art teacher at Spring
Avenue Elementary School in Lagrange,
Illinois. email@example.com, kuharicpj@
Students use subjects, themes, and
symbols that demonstrate knowledge
of contexts, values, and aesthetics
that communicate intended meaning