Everyone has a story to tell, and art is tied to literature through illustration. If you need to tie language arts into your lessons, this project offers an engaging solution. This was a new project for me and I tested it with my summer art camp students. They loved it, so it will be making its way into my classroom as well.
Students began with a sketch on copy paper. They divided it into nine spaces with a thin guiding line to remind them that the story needs to be drawn in a spiral direction. I encouraged them to try to make their story transition smoothly from frame to frame so that the completed open image would be more cohesive.
I asked my students to tell a simple story in nine steps. This could be about a life experience, an adventure, or something completely made up. If I were to do this in a classroom setting, I might want to have students research and illustrate a poem that contains a few stanzas such as Lewis Carroll’s “Jabberwocky,” or illustrate a portion of a story in nine steps. This way, completed projects could be displayed to show off your connections to literature.
If you wanted to incorporate a science connection, you could illustrate cell division in nine parts, or tackle the subject of global warming. Anything that can be broken and illustrated into nine parts can be used in this way. The fun part is that the story reveals itself as the paper unfolds. With some trial and error, I discovered how to prepare the paper so that it folds properly: A spiraling ¼” margin needs to be cut from the paper I used 18×24” (46×61 cm) paper because it was easy to divide in thirds.
The red area needs to be cut out, leaving space to accommodate the paper folds. I’ve created two YouTube videos one showing how to fold the paper and another with one of my students telling her story. You’ll find both links below.
Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context.
Folding the paper: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RTpMIhW7ZUE
Student Story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=enUkaga9jyA
Eric Gibbons is an art teacher, publisher of Firehouse Publications, and author of the blog Art Ed Guru. www.artedguru.com
Reprinted with permission from SchoolArts Magazine. Visit their website: schoolartsdigital.com