Thursday, 8 December 2011

exploring the faces of 3-D shapes

Take a look at this painting.


It’s by a famous Swiss artist, Paul Klee.  Before I tell you what it is called, tell me what you think it is meant to represent.  What do you see in the painting.

Tanisha is very quick to respond.  ‘It’s a castle,’ she tells us.  Obviously!

And in fact, I do believe she’s right; after all, the painting is called Castle and Sun (see the round sun up there in the dark sky?)

‘I can see shapes,’ Bianca says.  Lots of shapes.

Youssef can point to a triangle, Hiromi spots a diamond and Tim can see half of a circle.  (That’s a semi-circle by the way.)  We can all see rectangles and squares.  Dozens of them.  We’ve been learning about shapes you see.

Now take a look at this heap of wooden blocks.


There are cubes and cylinders and rectangular prisms.  Amongst other things.  But actually for today, we are only interested in the faces of these shapes; not the whole thing.  Because we are going to use the shapes to trace around so that we can build our own Klee castle (and sun).

First of all you need two friends to work with (which means your group will have three people in all!)  Your group needs one big sheet of black paper and a couple of scoops of wooden blocks.

Next, arrange the wooden blocks on your piece of black paper.  Jiggle them around so they begin to look like a castle.  That’s the way!


Remember to think about which way round each shape should go on the paper; for example what would you need to do with your cylinder to trace a circle?  And if you stand a triangular prism upright, will you get a triangle or some other shape?  How can you tell?

Next, take a white coloured pencil and carefully trace around each of the shapes.  Go round all those square and rectangular and triangular faces.

IMG_7202     IMG_7200    

When that’s done and you are (all) happy with the result, it’s time for some colour. 


And yes, many hands do make light work when everyone in the group is co-operating so well!


Make sure you leave a space for the (round) sun…..


before standing back to admire all your hard work.

IMG_7227   IMG_7228   IMG_7229   IMG_7230

Very Klee!

PS After we had finished all that admiring, we did a little self-assessment on how we each felt our group worked together.  You might like to take a look at our rubrics sometime.  Interesting they are!

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