What is a line? It's simply a moving dot. Movement is also the best way children engage with the world. Our class focusing on Line began with several immersive activities where students became the moving dots.
We began with a Montessori-style activity, "Walking the Line," inviting children to use their whole body, refining balance and control. Some children used their creativity and adapted the line to become a road to drive a car.
To continue our work with gross motor muscles, children were invited to pretend markers were ice skaters and to use big arm movements to "skate" across the butcher paper. A wordless book titled "Lines" by Suzy Lee provided inspiration.
We also made sure to work our fine motor skills - smaller muscles that will help children grasp writing utensils and art tools. Students were invited to use their pincer fingers to build various lines with loose parts.
Our last opening activity was a bit of a puzzle. Toy cars were parked at the beginning of a line. Students were challenged to drive their car through the maze, staying on the correct line and making it to the correct garage. This took some focus and sometimes a bit of teamwork.
After all that movement, we were ready to sit for a bit and work on our main project. The invitation was simple - black paper, glue, and strips of bright paper.
I encouraged Mini Maker's to experiment with line directions and soon we had some examples of cross-hatching. I also reminded students that sometime lines are different lengths and they aren't always straight.
Children were soon tearing paper into various sizes. Once one person figured out they could glue strips on in a 3-D manner, all the students began to play with the idea.
We ended class with a quick project for early finishers. Students were invited to create a line design on a small canvas with rubber bands and washi tape. Once designed, Mini Makers then applied watercolor paint over top. This watercolor resist technique revealed unpainted lines when the tape and rubber bands are later removed.