Metamorphosis – Middle School

The process of change from one thing to another.  We see metamorphosis in nature, but after browsing Pinterest for new lesson ideas I cam across several metamorphosis projects.  Most of them were of cans changing from an upright position to a crunched position, or from a whole lemon into a sliced lemon, but I though it would be fun to do another surreal project that challenged the student’s imagination.  A quick google search for ‘metamorphosis drawings’ gave me great (and not so great) examples to show students.  I always ask students to look at the examples for the do’s and don’ts in their own work.  Some questions I asked when we looked at examples where ‘does that make sense? Could the craftsmanship be better?  What grade would you have given them?’

I started off the project talking about our key vocabulary.  I always give the vocab first, so that when students are  being given the project that can start forming ideas right away.  The vocab for this project was Metamorphosis, Surrealism, and Series.  Although Unity could have easily been incorporated I didn’t want to overload the students with vocab.  I find it better to focus on a few smaller words, but still touch on other vocab as we’re going over the projects.  That way, in the future, when I do introduce unity, they’ve heard the word in context and can make those connections.  I also talked about things like value, color, and craftsmanship.  How to make a polished work of art using skills we’ve used for previous projects, while we are focusing on new skills and techniques.

I always have the students make a rough draft and then give me a proposal.  This allows me to see whether or not they are under or over reaching as far as their individual skills are.  I am also able to reinforce vocabulary with them as they explain their proposed project, and help them navigate whether or not they are making decisions that are going to result in a work of art they can be proud of and learn from.  After the rough draft the kids got started.  With so many panels (at least 6 required), some of them struggled to sustain the same level of craftsmanship throughout the project, but a large portion of their grade is weighted on that area, so they were able to persevere.

Overall the students did a fantastic job.  Some students struggled with the steps in-between, but were able to pull it together with a little bit of guidance.  The hardest part of this project was helping the students achieve a consistent level of craftsmanship throughout all of the panels, but by now students are used to the revision process and asking myself and others how they can improve on what they already have.

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