Sunday, January 23, 2011

ASL Contour Line Drawings

In remembrance of Martin Luther King Jr., and in dedication to his recent birthday, I decided to give my 6th graders a glimpse into his life's message in the form of ASL alphabet contour line drawings. We started the project by watching a MLK biography video (found here) and discussing his life achievements. I emphasized his ability to communicate his message through speech and then introduced a famous quote of his... "Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that." This quote was going to be our starting point for the final project. Leading up to the final drawings we spend about two class periods perfecting out drawing skills learning how to draw what we see rather than draw what me know or think we know about drawing a hand. This step was accomplished by showing examples of an x-ray of a hand (which students promptly asked if it was an x-ray of my own hand) to understand bone structure, doing multiple blind contour studies (which they love), talking about joints/muscles/proportions of a hand, and talking about negative and positive space. For the final drawings each students was give three letters from the quote and drew their hands from observation. Some needed to try a couple times before they got their drawing to look realistic but with a bit of one-on-one coaching almost all student were successful. I was so astounded by the end result and very excited to get the quote installed in the hallway. The installation has become a popular attention getter for the lunchroom as other students passing by try to piece together the words. Very fun learning experience, I would however emphasize a bit more that the letters you receive to draw at the beginning of the assignment are the letters you have to draw!! Even though I wrote down the letters each student received I still ended up with an unusual amount of "o" and "s" hands... Some ASL alphabet hand positions are significantly more challenging to draw than others so I can understand why some students may have decided to pick a different letter without asking... oh well. In the areas where I had a gap I just wrote the letter on a spare scrap of construction paper and called it a day. No need to fuss, I'l just make the correction next time:)

1 comment:

  1. great idea... nice way to add another dimension to the standard contour hands. thanks for sharing.