My example -- I borrowed one of the students' sneakers to do the demonstration.
I love to teach observational drawing lessons and was excited when the regular art teacher asked me to start this lesson with the fourth grade students.
The students were asked to remove one sneaker and place it in front of them. After getting over the initial gross factor of the boys trying to sniff their sneakers to freak out the girls the drawing could begin.
At first the students thought it was too difficult to draw a sneaker. They were asked to begin on a draft paper so that they could work through the learning process before making marks on the final paper. Many wanted to just trace their sneakers and did not like when I said they had to observe and draw what they saw, not trace. They also got frustrated when they had to go back and re-evaluate what they had drawn because they weren't getting life-size sketches. I jokingly said that the shoes could not look like they fit them when they were babies. They had to be big enough to fit now, which for some students was pretty big. This lightened things up a bit and gave them the courage to try again.
I made no misrepresentations during the demo and cautioned students that this was a challenging assignment that would require concentration and focus and less talking then I would normally allow in the art room. After about ten minutes of drawing they appreciated my candid approach and really focused their efforts, making multiple attempts, calling me over to help when they got stuck on certain parts, etc. Some students created such detailed drafts that they were worried they could not reproduce the result on the final paper, so I allowed them to use the windows to trace their sketches onto the final drafts. They had no idea that this was even possible.
Now, I have no clue how these drawings will end up or what the final project will look like when it is completed. I like the idea of keeping the contour drawings with little or no color, maybe just going over them in maker. I would also like to see them finished with a border design that incorporates the crazy cool patterns that are on the bottoms of the sneakers. I'll have to keep an eye out for these in the halls the next time I am at this school so I can see what will have become of them.
Here are some of the drawings. They were all really great and I'd love to share all of them, but I'll settle for just these for now.