Radial Name Designs

This year I started off by having my sixth graders create a radial name design.  I find that doing some sort of name based project at the beginning of the year helps me learn their names more quickly! 

We discussed radial symmetry and divided up a square piece of paper into equal pie pieces.  Then each student designed a few different rough draft versions of their name within one pie piece in their sketchbook.  After choosing their favorite option, they used a piece of tracing paper to transfer their design to the final square paper.  The transferring was definitely one of the harder parts of this project.  A few flipped their tracing paper the wrong way and ended up having to erase and fix backwards pie pieces. 

The final aspect of the unit involved color theory.  We discussed warm and cool colors and students were advised to complete the letters in their name with warm colors while saving cool colors for the negative space in their piece.  I also decided to provide choice options for this final stage of the unit.  I demonstrated marker usage, watercolor paints, and acrylics and then explained some of the pros and cons to each option.  Students could then choose the option that they felt best suited their artistic skills and interests.  This also provided more opportunities for problem-solving.  Some students ended up combining options after realizing that the one they had chosen wasn’t working how they had hoped.  For example, combining paint and markers after realizing that I didn’t have as many marker color choices or using acrylic over watercolors after deciding they didn’t like the transparent colors.

Overall the students learned a lot about symmetry, color theory, and problem solving and created some pretty fun final projects to demonstrate their learning!  Check ’em out:

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