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TeachNet NYC  |  Lesson Plans  |  Teachnet

Drawing Into The Imagination

Project URL: http://teachnet-lab.org/huck/templates/drawingindex.htm 

How it works:
Sixth grade students are introduced to the work of artist Saul Steinberg by visiting online galleries of his work and looking at photo reproductions. They each choose an image that "draws them in" and imagine themselves jumping into a section of the image narrative.  After discussing the style typical of Steinberg drawings--mostly black and white lines with crosshatching to show depth--students are ready to brainstorm and sketch their own story idea and visuals. A storyboard guides them through the process, and all drawing is done in Photoshop. The story is then inserted into a Dreamweaver template of five web pages to illustrate a story with two possible plots and endings. The projects are displayed online in the teacher's virtual gallery.

Standards addressed:  
Students understand and apply media, techniques, and processes related to the visual arts; use structures (e.g., sensory qualities, organizational principles, and expressive features) and functions of art. They learn what makes various organizational structures effective (or ineffective) in the communication of ideas, and use content, style, and structure (e.g., formal or informal language, genre, and organization) appropriate for specific audiences and purposes (e.g., to entertain, to influence, and to inform).

Materials used:
Required materials include a networked Macintosh lab with Internet connection, Adobe Photoshop, Macromedia Dreamweaver, and Microsoft Word.  This project could easily be adapted for use with other photo imaging and web authoring software.

The students:
Drawing Into The Imagination
was created for sixth grade digital art students at the Institute for Collaborative Education, a small, diverse New York City public school for grades six through twelve. The students had little or no prior experience with digital media drawing and web authoring.

Overall value:
By focusing on multiple interpretations of Saul Steinberg's work (which may not  previously be familiar to most participants), the students exercise their imaginations and are inspired to write and illustrate their own fantasy stories. They learn to create a non-linear story with multiple possibilities and endings. The visual narratives are linked via text and imagery. Each student becomes an author and web artist.

Borrow a book on the work of Saul Steinberg and make photocopies of some of the drawings for students to interpret (in addition to works found on the Internet). Require the students to have their storyboards with them every day until the project is finished, so they keep their goals in mind.

About the teacher:
Meryl Meisler, digital art teacher at the Institute for Collaborative Education, began teaching in 1979. She has received a Disney American Teacher Award in visual arts, serves on the Teachers Network Board of Directors, and is a consultant to the Whitney Museum's online learning department. Meryl is an accomplished artist in her own right.


Subject Areas:                            Visual Arts
Language Arts 

Grade Levels: 



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