Cut Paper Symmetry
Students use Contrasting Colors to create a Symmetrical DesignI teach my students about the Elements of Art and Principles of Design through a series of lessons and projects which incorporate these key fundamentals. I've started the 6th graders off with a project revolving around symmetry while incoporating line, balance (symmetry and asymmetry), shape and space (positive and negative as well as overlapping). We discussed positive and negative space quite extensively during this project while focusing on making symmetrical shapes and creating symmetrical designs with the possibility for some asymmetrical touches.
I love this lesson to start with because each student feels successful and strong in their artmaking through these simple tactics. They have a lot of fun looking for shapes and figures within their cuts too! My favorite so far is a student looking at the "bonus shapes" that I have as examples on my board (pictured below). He told me "This black piece looks like a water buffalo and the two blue ones around the top of it look like lizards!" I would have never seen the water buffalo and lizard trio! They have such great imaginations, I love it!!!
After students cut out all their shapes and have a good pile of "bonus shapes" I ask that they experiment with their layout before we glue antyhing. We review contrast, color distribution, how to use space and (of course) symmetry. They have a lot of fun coming up with their layouts and how they want things to overlap and sometimes weave together. They get really proud of their work (something I'm always eager to see!) and like to show off each idea to their classmates, it's a lot of fun to see how many different ideas they have.
When the students finished their work, I took a digital photo of each piece and uploaded it for parent access on Artsonia.com. Check out our Cut Paper Symmetry Exhibit here