Wednesday, 2 March 2016

A Turn of Turtles

This lesson was inspired by my love of all things aquatic. Sea turtles are particularly beautiful creatures and young people always seem to really connect with them - maybe it's the idea of having all that ocean to explore, carrying your home around on your back with you. Turtles have a really interesting form, providing a great shape for students to work in. Also, the collective noun for a group of turtles is a 'turn.' Who knew?

 For this lesson, each student drew their turtle's shell to pre-established dimensions - I wanted the turtles to have some degree of uniformity when they were exhibited together on the display wall. To achieve this, each student drew a vertical 20cm line, intersected at the 10 cm point by a horizontal 16cm line. This gave the students a framework to draw their turtle shell onto.

The young people then designed and painted their turtles however they wished. Some opted for symmetrical, ordered patterns, whilst others were more organic and expressive. The students added some Jackson Pollack-style paint spatter to their turtles to create a sense of movement.

The backdrop for the display was made from various off cuts of different hues of blue and purple paper that I had in my scrap paper draw, with some painted string added on top to give the effect of ripples on water.

The students jumped at this project, with some of them wanting to create more than one turtle for the display. As we had some extra time, I let these students create another turtle and then they chose their favourite to join the turn of turtles on the display wall!

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