I’ve been teaching Digital Arts classes for the past 4 years and I can definitely say my problem solving skills have grown throughout the years as a result. This first started when I was teaching Animation at the Brooklyn Heights Montessori School where I constantly had to be on my toes to make creatures fly, bring hard to execute ideas come to life or use a ladder to get the perfect birds eye view perspective.
Here’s an overview of what I teach in my classes currently. Examples will be posted on the blog as the year gets going.
6TH GRADE CLASSES
Graphic design | Pop Art Landscapes
Our time with using Photoshop begins with using Roy Lichtenstein’s landscapes as inspiration. These Pop Art Landscapes have been a real success and truly get students to understand how layers work. They also master the paint brush, paint bucket and eraser tools in this project.
Graphic design | Creating Original Logos
Move onto creating original logos for a fictional brand. Gets students to think about branding and how to communicate a simple message with using little text and images. Students mainly use the shape and text tools for this project.
Graphic design | Sneaker Design Project
Students work in pairs to design two sneakers that work in a collection together. A template is used that separates each sneaker section into different layers. Gives students the ability to think about honing their ideas while collaborating. The challenge ends up being how to carefully select images and colors as to not over design their sneakers.
3D Design | Bookmark/Keychain Design Project
The first project my 6th graders create in Tinkercad is very basic. Tinkercad has a learning curve so this project gives students options on how much they want to challenge themselves. They can design something flat so they can slowly learn how to move the work plane around or they can start with building upwards, utilizing the Z axis. Students do create some basic bookmarks and keychains but it gives them the foundation of learning how to add and deduct shapes together to successfully build their designs. Limiting them from using their name, initials, copyrighted material and names of athletic teams definitely helps to get them to create fun and dynamic original designs.
3D Design | Pencil Holder Design Challenge
The last project my students work on in 6th grade challenges them to design a pencil holder that could be sold in the MoMa Design Store. Giving them this prompt helps to give them a focus – modern and clean designs. The only big requirement is that their design has to contain at least one #2 pencil. It also can’t be higher than 5 inches and wider than 4 inches.