Sunday, June 26, 2011

Overlapping Shapes

What is one thing that teachers do during the summer? Well, of course, we get in there and try out things we have thought about doing during the school year but haven't had time to play with. So, today was playtime!

I started thinking about overlapping shapes showing dimension. But rather than incorporate the skill into a full fledged landscape or still life, I wanted to isolate just the skill of overlapping.
I started using a 3-inch square to trace around with a permanent marker. I started "off the paper" and traced one whole square. Then, for the next square I traced around all of it EXCEPT the part where the previous square was.
I continued the "path" until I reached another side of the paper.
Next, I painted around all the squares with one color. As I was painting I remembered noticing this year how much difficulty some kids had dragging the paintbrush along a line to make a straight edge. This seemed to be a foreign concept for many, so next year I plan to focus on that as a separate skill. I think a project like this will be a good vehicle for this.
Finally, I used black to edge the overlapped sides of the squares. This really gave an illusion of depth and it was created totally by dragging the edge of the brush.

I am not sure whether this is a finished idea or not. I may have kids do something inside the white areas of the squares, but I like just leaving them as tumbling squares, too.  We'll see next year.

Once I had the paint out, I figured I might as well try something else. So, using the same idea, I cut out newspaper squares and glued them down in the same way that I drew the above squares.

Then I painted around the squares in much the same way. This might be better for younger students who would have trouble knowing exactly where to draw to make their squares appear to be overlapping.

I'll be playing with this idea more during the summer. My attention span for school stuff   has just about expired and I am off to read a book!!


  1. I also have a BUNCH of ideas I want to try this summer. If I plan to retire next June, I figure I want to go out in style. Expect dragons!

  2. Ha!! Dragons it shall be!! That was how I felt, too. I never worked so hard as that last full-time year -- but it was SOOOO much fun!!

  3. I like the looks of this project. I'm thinking about a grown-up card-making project with tumbling squares...