Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The King's Sandwich

I love to start the year off with something fun for the kids that gets their creative juices flowing and isn’t too intimidating.  But I also want to use our time together as wisely as possible.  For 8th graders, The King’s Sandwich fits the bill perfectly!  

I begin by giving them categories and asking them to write down five foods from each category (breakfast, fruits/veggies, meats, desserts, candy, holiday, frozen, etc.)  This sets the stage for a large number of ideas from which to pull their drawings together.
Then I tell them a short story about how they are the Knights of the Round Table for a powerful king and how the king is interested in this new fabulous food called the “sandwich.”  The king heard of this concoction from a passing knight, so he does not have many details except that it consists of several different layers of food between two pieces of bread.  The Knights of the Round Table are asked to design a sandwich “fit for a king!” 
Students then create a layered drawing (starting from the bottom up), using as many interesting and unique layers of food as they can. I remind them that we live on earth where there is gravity...so their layers have to touch each other - they can’t float!
Students also label each layer off to the side.
When the drawings are finished, I use this project to introduce “pushing” color.  I demonstrate using colored pencils to color the project by injecting each layer with other colors to jazz up the “local color” of the layer.  This mixing of colors makes for much richer, more interesting artworks and this technique is one they refer to again and again as high school students.  
Although I’m not much into contests in art class, for this one project we do hold a contest to see which sandwich the “King” (senior art students) will choose.  The top three win a small treat as a prize. 
This project continues to be a winner as it warms up the students’ creativity and gives them a new skill to use in future work.