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Martian landscapes: middle school.

The Art Problem

Students learn perspective drawing skills, awareness of current events in space exploration, and understanding how science and art can be combined in an illustration career. Students are asked to apply newly learned two-point perspective skills in a drawing reflecting the current exploration of Mars by NASA's rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. The theme: Develop the first settlement on Mars.

Guided Practice

1. Students spend three eighty-five minute class blocks learning: general perspective vocabulary; the difference between linear and atmospheric perspective; the basic techniques of linear perspective drawing, including basic block forms, variations of forms, windows, projections and a simple, yet traditional, city scene.

2. To introduce the final project, students view a presentation of images, (actual photographs, NASA illustrations, and animation) depicting the rocket launch and landing of the Martian rovers on the surface of Mars. Ask students: What does the Martian landscape look like? What might a future settlement include so humans could live there? What does an illustrator do? What other areas of science might use illustrators? How did the NASA photographs and illustrations demonstrate perspective?

3. Show students project examples, and review grading rubrics so expectations are clear.

4. Students work on drawings for about four days, and eventually outline pencil drawings in permanent marker and applied colored pencil to enhance the landscape.

Assessing Learning

Review drawings on an individual basis everyday. A grading rubric assesses: accuracy and complexity of linear perspective, development of theme, artistry, and class participation (effective use of class time, project planning, meeting deadlines, participating in critique, etc.)

ClipCard submitted by Mary Coy, art teacher at Spry Middle School in Webster, New York.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:ClipCard
Author:Coy, Mary
Publication:School Arts
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2005
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