I tried out Scratch, the free kid-friendly coding website from MIT. The website has great step by step directions for creating animated name art using drag and drop commands. It took me a little while to get the hang of it, but soon I was able to get my letters to make sounds, change colors, bounce and rotate. Scratch provides ready-made letters, or you can draw your own. You can also upload your own files for the background or for individual letters.
Here’s my attempt. For letter ‘I’, I found an image of the Chrysler Building and erased the background. (Please note – this animation requires Flash and cannot be viewed on iPads).
I liked Scratch a lot. There are tons of student-made name art examples to inspire you. Scratch lets you look at the code (‘script’) inside everyone’s creations. You can even remix other folk’s creations.
Scratch requires Flash – unfortunately you can’t use it with iPads.
Use teacher-made or student-made tracers (we used both). Students traced their templates with a pencil onto the paper. The composition were encouraged to fill the paper with a single type of dessert in a variety of flavors. It was OK to have the dessert coming off the page, and it was also OK to overlap.
(Note: I know some art teachers disapprove of tracers; I think the use of them in this project reinforces the tie-in to geometry and repetition).
Students then colored their desserts with oil pastels, adding details such as sprinkles, cherries, and chocolate swirls. They outlined the desserts with oil pastels. Finally, they painted the background with a single color of tempera cake.
Second Grade results:
Second graders used circle, triangle, and ellipse tracers as a starting point for these artworks.
If your administration asks if you incorporate math (or STEM/STEAM) in your lesson plans, teach this one and happily reply ‘yes’. After all, shape and form are elements of art. This art project reinforces geometry in a fun way.