There are many fun ways to engage the younger student as they learn about different lines. Encouraging the young artist to recognize and draw different types of lines will help them see things differently and be able to convey what they see. It will also help boost their vocabulary as they learn to describe different lines they see.
One of my favorite lessons classes that I have with a new group of Kindergarten students is introducing them to Line. Most lesson intros have been changed up over the course of my 21 years, however, the way I start this particular lesson has remained the same. After students are settled I told them we would be learning about lines in the next few classes. I then ask them, "Does anyone know what a line is?" 90% of the time I see a hand go up and the following response comes out of the cute little one brave enough to offer an answer up during one of our first classes, "It's an animal that goes roar!"
We all have a laugh together when I explain that I'm not saying, "Lion". I then proceed to draw some different lines as they make their own marks on a paper with crayons. This loosens them up and they are ready to explore lines even more.
Here are some different projects that are great to help Kindergarten students learn and explore the Element of Line.
Monoprints with tempera
Monoprints are great ways for students to explore creating different kinds of lines. Any slick surface can be used. I have used plastic trays, laminated cardstock, and aluminum foil. You can even use plastic ziplock bags. For my Kindergarten students, I squirt some paint on the surface and let them spread it around with a brush or roller. They use cotton swabs or the back sides of paintbrushes to create a design. We put a piece of paper on the top and they rub it around and then pull it off.
This is a great project for these young students because they naturally work quickly.
Paper Line Sculptures
With just a few demonstrations of different folds or curls, the students are ready to create their sculptures. I usually have some glue poured into a paper plate for them to dip the paper into instead of dealing with glue bottles. Before the class is over we take a walk around all the sulptures and I give each student a chance to tell us about it. Some students talk about their favorite part and others go into an explanation of what their sculpture is. It's fun to hear them describe the sculpture as a park, maze, roller coster, house for a creature, and other creative ideas.
What are some of your favorite lessons to introduce the Element of Line?
Theresa Gillespie spent over 20 years teaching Art in the Moline School District in Illinois. She has a BA degree in Art Education and a MEd degree in Education & Technology. She also is a graduate level instructor for The Art of Education