Thursday, May 17, 2012

Random Object Yankee Swap! Gr. 4

Almost everyone knows how a Yankee swap works. You pick a gift then get to swap with someone else no matter if they want to or not. And being the first to choose means you get to swap last and have your choice of everything. It can be fun or frustrating depending on what you get stuck with.

Anyway, I was in need of a fourth grade mini lesson last week and thought it might be fun to try with random small objects that are placed in a box. These could range from art supplies to little toys or knick knacks or pretty much whatever is handy and whatever you have enough of for every student to get one thing. The students are already assigned numbers in their classroom so they chose from the box in that order. It was great fun and although it did take a little longer than expected with all the swapping, it was worth it.

Once the swap was completed, students were instructed to draw their objects from observation. They could incorporate the following:
  • cropping
  • change in view point
  • overlapping
  • change in scale
They were asked to draw the objects more than once, but you'll see from the examples below that this did not always happen. Once the drawings were complete and traced over with permanent marker, they had some choices for how they could finish them off with watercolor. These were:
  • Paint around the object only and leave the object white -- Not many chose this option.
  • Paint the object and a border only and leave the background white -- The popular choice.
  • Optional: Add some splatter paint. This first occurred to fix a stray mark and then everyone wanted to try it so I said it would be okay if they were careful of others working around them.
Here are the results of this little art game experiment:
Wind up snail toy.
Miniature brass candelabra.
Key chain.
Toy alien figure (with movable arms).
Little felt craft bear.
Key chain.
Alien toy (this student never started the painting because he was so careful of his drawing).
Plastic minute timer.
Bulldog clip.
Cowboy hat car air freshener.

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