EARTH DAY CIRCLE ART – Symmetry, Colour, Contrast

Students use a compass to draw a circle design based on sixfold symmety and use their design as the basis for a poster celebrating Earth Day.

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 6 to Grade 8

Subject

Language Arts
Mathematics
Science
Visual Arts
Media Literacy

Vocabulary

contrast dominant element symmetry

Materials

Crayola Marker & Watercolour Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12") Crayola Coloured Pencils Crayola Sketchbooks - 1 per student Pencils Compasses - 1 per student Erasers

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Steps

EARTH DAY CIRCLE ART – Symmetry, Colour, Contrast - Step One

Step One

  1. Practice drawing intersecting circles with a compass.
  2. Follow the instructions to draw a circle design with sixfold symmetry. (Downloads - DivideCircleSixParts.pdf)
EARTH DAY CIRCLE ART – Symmetry, Colour, Contrast - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Plan ideas in your sketchbook.
  2. Think of a way to transform your circle design into something that connects with Earth Day.
    - add details and it could be a tree, flower, planet, bird ...
  3. Figure out what type of lettering you want to use.
  4. Decide what information you need to include.
  5. Make a rough plan drawing in your sketchbook.
EARTH DAY CIRCLE ART – Symmetry, Colour, Contrast - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Draw your design on good paper.
  2. Choose colours that communicate a message about Earth Day.
  3. Blend colours and add details.
EARTH DAY CIRCLE ART – Symmetry, Colour, Contrast - Step Four

Step Four

  1. View your poster with fresh eyes.
  2. Ask yourself:
    - Is it carefully planned and completed?
    - Is the symbol based on a circle with sixfold symmetry?
    - Is the message simple and clear?
    - Does it use negative space to make it easy to see important information?
    - Does it have a dominant element that connects with the message?
    - Does it use colours that connect with the message?
    - Is the paper in good condition?

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • use a compass to draw a circle design with sixfold symmetry;
  • use their circle design as the basis for a poster to celebrate Earth Day;
  • use borders and negative space to construct an eye-catching design;
  • select and arrange fonts to create a clear message;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment;
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the artworks.

Extensions

Have students:

  • use the lesson plan Designing a Brochure available on this website to create a poster to promote their issue;
  • create a stop motion animated film about Earth Day using the Stop-Motion Animation lesson plan available on this website;
  • organize a viewing of their videos.

Prepare

  • Prior to this lesson you may want to have students learn modern calligraphy using the Modern Calligraphy lesson plan available on this website.
  • Have students work through the Analyze a Media Text worksheet available on this website. (Downloads - AnalyseAMediatext.pdf)
  • Teach or review the history and purpose of Earth Day.
    - observed around the world on April 22
    - first celebrated on April 22, 1970
    - is considered the birth of the modern environmental movement
    - encourages people to live responsibly and protect the planet 
  • Provide time for students to practice using a compass.
  • Download and display the Contrast, Balance and Colour posters available on this website.
    - review or teach the element of colour – warm/cool colours
    - review or teach the principle of contrast and balance – strong differences, symmetry, asymmetry, radial
  • Download images of posters from the Internet, for example,
    Carmen 
    Peace
  • Gather, and make available, books about lettering, for example, Little Book of Lettering, by Emily Gregory; Adventures in Lettering: 40 exercises to improve your lettering skills, by Dawn Nicole Warnaar; Creative Lettering: Techniques & Tips from Top Artists, by Jenny Doh; Doodle Art and Lettering with Joanne Sharpe: Inspiration and Techniques for Personal Expression, by Joanne Sharpe; and Hand-Lettering (An Interactive Guide to the Art of Drawing Letters), by Megan Wells.
  • Gather, and make available, books about Earth Day, for example, Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth, by Oliver Jeffers; Thank You, Earth: A Love Letter to Our Planet, by April Pulley Sayre; and You Can Save the Earth, Revised Edition: A Handbook for Environmental Awareness, Conservation and Sustainability, by Sean K. Smith. 

Introduction

  1. Demonstrate how to draw a circle design with sixfold symmetry.
  2. Read a quote about Earth Day and ask students to respond to it.
  3. Have students imagine how they could transform the final design into something related to Earth Day, for example,
    - add a trunk and it becomes a tree
    - add a stem and leaves and it becomes a flower
    - add things around the circumference and it becomes the earth
  4. View and discuss several posters, for example, Carmen and Peace, pointing out what makes them effective.
  5. List the characteristics on a chart paper, for example: ​
    - simple and clear composition makes it easy to see important information
    - shows all required information
    - has a dominant element, such as a symbol, or character that immediately catches your eye
    - uses size, contrasting colour or values to emphasizes the most important part of the message 
    - images or symbols are related to the message
    - colours are strong so they attract attention from a distance
  6. View and discuss a variety of lettering styles, including modern calligraphy alphabets.
  7. Introduce the challenge.

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Use a compass to draw a circle design with sixfold symmetry.
  2. Use your circle design as the basis for a poster to celebrate Earth Day.
  3. Use borders and negative space to construct an eye-catching design.
  4. Select and arrange fonts to create a clear message.
  5. Demonstrate technical accomplishment.
  6. Support your ideas with evidence found in the artworks.

The Process

  1. Ensure that everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when my design:
    - is carefully planned and completed
    - is based on a circle with sixfold symmetry

    - uses easy to read fonts
    - is simple and clear
    - uses negative space to make it easy to see important information
    - has a dominant element that connects with the message
    - uses colours that connect with the message
    - paper is in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work. 
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.

Sharing

  1. Place students into small groups. 
  2. Ask them to: 
    - share their work and discuss the things that are especially effective and why
    - analyse the designs focusing on the characteristics of effective posters

    - talk about what they found satisfying about doing this project
    - talk about how they might use what they learned in a different way
  3. Share ideas with the whole class. 
  4. Ask students to tell how they felt about doing this project.

Assessment

  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss the posters – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the artwork and from personal experience.
  3. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads – EarthPoster_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads – EarthPoster_self-assessment.pdf)