Originally, I intended to give a full lesson on Picasso, but I kept hearing a nagging voice in my ear telling me that is overdone in art education. Maybe I could approach this from a different angle (pun intended!). Maybe I can get them to interpret portraits through Cubism… or as I introduced it, by using shapes to make their images. To be honest, I wanted to give e them a lesson on Vlaminck or Kandinsky, and I may still do that, but I needed to lay the groundwork for using shapes.

My research brought me to this really enjoyable video: “Cubism for Kids“. I gave them the big construction paper to draw on (14″ x 17”) and a small bowl of oil pastel bits, advised them they could share colours with others at they tables, suggested they could start with the pastels for outlines, instead of pencils, and started the video.

When they started being done, I encouraged them to add more colours (“fill the page”), draw bolder outlines, etc… I reiterated my mantra about the acceptability of making mistakes and even encouraged them to make the drawings their own instead of copying the video exactly.

Some drew with the video, some watched and drew after. They all chatted and shared what they were doing while m making. We did a show and tell afterwards and they are now enjoying asking for questions and feedback from each other.

As you can see, some chose to completely deviate from the faces and some took the cube in cubism very literally. A few either just messed around, of were actually doing abstracts (as they assured me they were 😉).


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