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Technology and Visual Arts: Symmetry Portraits

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Keywords: Symmetry, Portraits, VISUAL ART, SCIENCE, MATH
Subject(s): Math, Science, Technology, Art
Grades 1 through 6
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Valley View Elementary School, La Crescenta, CA
Planned By: Lisa Jenks
Original Author: Lisa Jenks, La Crescenta
Teacher asked the students, "What is symmetry?" As the students discuss the topic, the teacher writes their answers on a bubble map. This is then shown to the students through the use of an ELMO and Projector.

Students are asked to visualize lines of symmetry in nature and of the human head using a PowerPoint presentation viewed with the ELMO and Projector.

Students when watch a brief video on www.discoveryeducation.com entitled, "Number Crew: Symmetrical Spectacles".

The teacher reviews the concept of a portrait by showing examples by Rembrandt and discusses what contour lines are.

The teacher reviews the importance of line, shape, color, composition, and design.

The teacher Models to the students hot to create the other side of the face using KidPix Deluxe 4 or above.

** To begin this lesson, the student needs to take a picture of his/herself using the PHOTOBOOTH or have a digital image of themselves already saved on the computer.

If students are already familiar with KidPix Deluxe 4:
1. Students use the "Add Graphic" feature to insert and manipulate their photo on the blank page.
2. Students erase half of their face from the page by choosing the color white from the Paint Palette and using the square drawing tool in the KidPix Deluxe Tool Box.
3. Students then re-create the mirror image of their face using symmetrical shapes on the erased side of their face. The photograph half will not be modified. Students will use the Pencil Drawing Tool and the Eye Dropper function of the Paint Palette to draw the outline.
4. Students will then use the Bucket Tool to fill in the colors of their fae shapes. Using the Eyedropper function of the Paint Palette lets the students closely match the actual colors of their skin, eyes, hair, etc.
5. Finally, the students us the thin pencil line in the Drawing Tools to add details and depth to their symmetrical portrait.

Once these pictures are saved, the teacher can create an iMovie. I suggest using the original picture to lead into the symmetrical artwork.
A great song to play this video with is CHANGES by David Bowie.
I usually show this at Open House and the parents are amazed at how well the kids have done on this assignment.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
After learning about Rembrandt or other famous artists, the students could do the same project but with a well known artwork (example: Mona Lisa).
Materials: Camera Bags, Art Tools, Portable, Digital Cameras, Literacy