Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Grade Three: Architectural Facades

Students in grade three have been learning about architecture and how architects plan buildings. For this lesson, students learned that the front exterior wall of a building is called a facade and requires specific elements to be considered. Students noticed that architects, like all artists, often borrow design ideas from existing buildings and adapt them to their own ideas. For example, students discussed how The Parthenon in Athens, Greece has inspired buildings all over the world, past and present, in both symbolism and design. Students discussed some important architectural elements such as columns and arches, and how they have been used. In addition to structural and functional elements, students were led to also notice decorative elements, as well. The facade of the Church of Santa Maria Novella in Florence, Italy was discussed and examined. 

From these ideas, students were instructed to create a styrofoam block print of a building facade of their own design while paying special attention to the details and a various structural elements such as arches, columns, balconies and towers. Because block printing requires carving with sharp tools, young students are given a soft material such as styrofoam, which easily yields to forming the impression of images through the gentle pressure of a pencil. Students were given a demonstration of the block printing process using brayers, inking plates and ink, which remain the same as other forms of block printing. After completing sketches and transferring designs, students were then ready to print their designs onto paper. Once the prints were dry and complete, students created a background setting for their building using a variety of media.