To kick off the unit, we did a one day project that involved stamping with Legos (I've seen multiple variations of this on Pinterest...). I took this opportunity to talk to the students about the Principles of Art. We've talked about them here and there, one at a time, but I felt like this quick project was a great way to get students to think about the principles all together. We talked about patterns, having balance (symmetrical and asymmetrical), movement, unity, contrast, rhythm, and emphasis. Now, a lot of these are a little over some of the 2nd graders heads, but none the less, I think some of them really thought more about their composition.
I showed students these simple visual rubrics I made for the project and we talked about each one. "Is it interesting to look at? Why or why not?"
I posted these on the bulletin board int he front of the classroom and gave the students their instructions. Keeping in mind the principles of art, they had to create an interesting design using different sized and shaped Legos. They would only get one color, so that had to use placement of their stamps to create an interesting factor to look at. I gave each table a small plate of finger paint and a small variety of Legos and let them go to town!
Now, even though we spent about 15 minutes going over what makes a good composition, it seemed as if the combination of using Legos and finger paint made all the other points mute. The outcome of this project was NOT what I had expected! I had some students smearing their designs together after they finished with their fingers, some only used one Lego for the entire print, and many tried to make actual, representational pictures instead of non-representational like I asked for. Next time I think I may have to tweak my instructions a bit!