Colleen’s screen printing Logos with Stencils
This week I observed and helped out in Colleen’s lesson on screen printing logos for invented organizations using stencils on paper. It was great to see she had materials on hand for them to make bandannas, t-shirts or a canvas bag if they wanted those. She started off by asking them about their creative activities this week during the opening ceremony that we have been doing. This got them engaged and was a nice transition into thinking about designing a logo while she showed her example stencil. She showed them the PowerPoint of various logos and asked them to interpret those. After that, she provided an informal assessment of their prior knowledge by quizzing them on semi-blank logos with parts missing, asking them to pare down to the essentials when they make their drawings for their logos. She requested that they make three sketches to start. One student groaned a bit but it was good for that kid to slow down a bit and think through her ideas more.
After the sketches were approved and suggestions made, Colleen showed them how to screen print with her stencil in a demonstration. I thought the pacing of this lesson was successful for her in terms of how she introduced the idea and the parts of the activity. She also explained to them how to be safe while using an exact-o blade, which for 4th grade, can be tricky. They seemed to understand how the color would only be applied to the spaces that they cut out, so they had an idea already about negative and positive space and worked it out while they were making it. The collaborative aspect of requiring a partner to assist in holding the screen while another prints is a nice way to build community. One student had an issue with matching the squeegee size with the screen and so she had a limitation in material, but she solved the problem by just turning the squeegee so it fit better, which is part of the process of making art; the mistakes can either be helpful or a hindrance.
Overall this lesson was a success because the students were engaged, developed their ideas more fully through brainstorming and made productive results. The students have a good rapport with Colleen and each other as well.