Sunday, March 16, 2014

6th Grade Still Life Drawings

Another "AH HA!" Moment

I love this lesson for many reasons: It is a great one day lesson. Can be used as a sub plan. Students have fun doing this. No two are alike. It gives the students some control (which they like.)

I came up with this idea because I have around 35-37 students in my 6th grade classes... making a single still life in the center of the room impossible. I have tried setting up a still life on each table as well, but this doesn't work great either. So I came up with this idea.... What if the STUDENTS created their own INDIVIDUAL still lifes?
So I put objects in 7 different bins, one for each table. When students arrived, I numbered them off at each table.
Ever heard of the game Pick Up Sticks? Well... that was my concept. No one could take an object that was under something else, it had to be on top. (This helps in a huge way.. no fighting over objects, no taking too long to decide, no picking the easiest objects to draw.)
Starting with number 1's, I give them 5 seconds to pick an object, then move to the #2's, 3's and so on until everyone has one object. We continued this until everyone had 3 objects. (I allowed students to add a 4th object of their own if they chose... so some added ipods, cell phones, candy bars etc. Made it interesting!)
Students then arranged their objects however they wanted. I told them to push their still life at least arms  length away before starting their drawing. (Many want the objects right next to their paper... not good for viewing correctly.)
Students worked the rest of the hour drawing a contour line drawing of the objects and added shading if they had time. They were very engaged for this drawing and all turned out great!

Some of the objects used

I collect objects at garage sales in the summer! I also use things around the room like scissors, glue etc. 


  1. Hi,
    I also have a large class of 6th grade (40!) Did you give every child 4 objects? That's a lot of stuff to find!! :)

    1. Hello! Sorry I'm just getting this. It depends on how much time we have. I like to get every student with 4 objects. If I think we can add a 5th I tell them to find something in their pockets or backpack :)