Saturday, November 29, 2014

Studio Project: An Illustrated Verse

Step 1: Choose a favourite song, and pick one verse to illustrate

Step 2: Brainstorming: use various brainstorming techniques to create a list of relevant imagery to use in the illustration. It is important to consider a colour palette at this stage as well as dimensions and media.

Step 3: Research: do some background research about the song, the band, and allusions/imagery referenced to in the verse. Compile visual reference material for all the imagery chosen in Step 2.

Step 4: Thumbnail Sketches (visual brainstorming)

Step 5: Experimentation: media exploration/ Rough Sketch

Step 6: Final Sketch/ Final Work

Step 7: Presentation, Group Critique and Reflection.

Here's an example, using a piece that I made a few years ago, based on the Grateful Dead song Jack Straw (words by Robert Hunter, music by Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia).

The verse that I chose to illustrate:
Leaving Texas,

Fourth day of July

Sun so hot, clouds so low

The eagles filled the sky
Catch the Detroit Lightning

Out of Santa Fe

The Great Northern out of Cheyenne

From sea to shining sea

The Final Sketch:

The Final Work:

The final sketch was done with pigment liners on hot press paper. The sketch was then scanned and coloured in Photoshop. 

See more examples of this project in an ongoing series of illustrated Grateful Dead songs here:

What I like about this project in the classroom is that it offers a way for any student to get involved, inspired and excited about creating a visual representation of their favourite song. 

- Patrick

Monday, November 17, 2014

A few great sites to liven up your classroom

#1. (online interactive pinboard)
-          Allows students to move items around from their own computers and, as long as they participate one at a time, they can each change the pinboard.
-          Good for timelines, sorting activities...
-          Good for labelling, exam review
-          Assignment idea: have students create padlet walls for submission.

#2. (must create an account, everything saves automatically to your account)
-          Good for definitions and terms and activities
       Create glossary
-        Provide the link to the students
-        Use the icons at the top from left to right
-          Flash cards/ with timer
-          Speller/ audio review format
-          Print the test (test button)
-          Scatter activities
-          Race activities

 #3.  Socrative ( (create a quiz)
-          Students can use their phones or laptops (with internet access)
-          Students can anonymously answer questions
-          Quiz
-          Quick questions
-          Space Race: teams compete to answer questions
-          You can generate reports, print excel spreadsheets...

-          Works best with phones
-          Timed responses to questions you create
-          Interactive
-          Easy to make quizzes, surveys
-          Can add images
-          Can download spreadsheet
-          Can access other people’s quizzes as well
-          Good for exit tickets