Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Shoe Game- RES

My classroom is a little smelly today.

 There are shoes on the tables, and piled on the floor. 

Oh, don't worry, it's supposed to be like this.  We are playing the shoe game!

What is the shoe game? So glad you asked.

The shoe game begins with taking off one of your shoes, and trying to draw it. We discuss the importance of drawing what you see, not what you think you see, or what you wish your shoe looked like.

All of the details are important.  Holes, symbols, stripes, letters, textures.  The more information you include, the better your drawing will fare in the game.

Let's back up a moment.  Why are students drawing shoes? Because they will be studying plants in Enrichment, of course. Scientific drawings and science notebooks will be important to that study.

But what do shoes have to do with scientific drawing?  Well, shoes look all sort of similar, basically, just like plants look similar. Instead of stems, roots, and leaves, shoes have soles, straps, laces, and tongues. Drawing a specimen requires you to pay close attention to the details.

The shoe game is an exercise in scientific drawing.  Learning to really observe the shoe, finding what you see with your eyes, and marking it down with a pencil.  It's the triangle of successful observational drawing.
You can see it in action here. Look at how she is looking, really looking, at that shoe.

So, the game is this.
1. Draw your shoe. Give the drawing to your teacher.
2. Put all the shoes in the middle of the carpet, and circle up around them.
3. The teacher hands you a drawing that is not your own.
4. You try to match the drawing to one of the shoes in the pile.
5. Sit down when you have a match.
6. Go around the circle, and discuss if it is a match.

Hunting for the right shoe.
Sitting down when they think they have found the right shoe.
I ask a lot of questions about what the guesser saw in the drawing, such as:
What details did the artist include that helped you identify the correct shoe?
What details did the artist not include that could have helped you identify the shoe sooner/correctly?

This exercise benefits the artist: Did he or she offer clues and accuracy to help the viewer identify the correct shoe?
This exercise benefits the viewer: What details really need to be focused on to use a drawing as an identification source?

Essentially, the class made a field guide to their shoes. This game works with many other objects as well- sea shells, rocks, animals......and PLANTS.  First grade will do a great deal of instructed, scientific drawing in art this year.

I think this game is fantastic. And it elicits lots of giggles about how stinky we all are.  Give it a try!

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