3rd grade students recently created architecture mixed media artworks. I have done architecture artworks with 3rd graders in the past, but I changed this unit a bit this year, due to the school art auction fundraiser project. Each 3rd grade class put together a collaborative village made of individual pieces by the students.
Before creating the parts, students learned about the basic properties of architecture – walls, roofs, doors, and windows. We looked at a variety of styles, time periods, and architects’ work for inspiration. Students had access to a plethora of books, handouts, magazines, and the internet for even more inspiration. To prevent 25 schools, I created a sign up sheet for each class. If students had an idea not on the sheet, they could let me know and it would be added. Some items on the list were smaller, and so students usually signed up for more than one item to paint.
We also reviewed some tempera paint techniques to create more dynamic images and add painted details. Students learned and practiced double loading (putting more than one color on their brush), scratching (painting with one color, letting it dry a bit, then painting over with a different color, and scratching through), and mixing tints (color plus white) and shades (a color plus black).
After making parts for the collaborative project, students made their own architecture to put into a solo artwork. This was a mixed media project with elements of painting, drawing, and collage. Most days the art room looked a little chaotic, as seen in the images above and below. I was extremely proud of how well the 3rd graders managed their work space, work time, and clean up during this unit.
This was a fun project to watch come together due to the choices students had. I set the theme of architecture and choices for media. I required them to create architecture with the basics – walls, doors, windows, roof. I also required them to make an environment for their architecture – the sky and ground. I demonstrated paint techniques and collage techniques and the rest was up to them.
The other really interesting thing about this project was how the collaborative element carried through – because they started off working together, there was much more discussion, sharing, and suggestion-giving than otherwise would have been. This is a group of 3rd graders uploading their finished architecture collages to the digital portfolio, See Saw. More on that coming soon!
Check out some of the finished artworks below: