ELEMENTS OF DESIGN – Modeling Clay, Photography

Students create an Elements of Design poster combining mini, modeling clay images they have created, and photographs they have taken to represent each of the elements.

 

Required Time

180 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 7 to Grade 10

Subject

Language Arts
Visual Arts

Vocabulary

colour elements of design fine art form graphic design line shape space texture value

Materials

Pencils Modeling Clay - Assorted Colours Bristol Board - Assorted Colours Sketchbook Paper Glue Sticks Markers Bristol Board - 7 pieces per student 6.4 cm x 8.9 cm (2.5" x 3.5")

Steps

ELEMENTS OF DESIGN – Modeling Clay, Photography - Step One

Step One

  1. LINE is a path created by a moving point. 
  2. Lines can be thick, thin, straight, curved, solid, broken, fuzzy, crisp and various colours.
  3. They can be long, short and can change direction.
  4. In design, curved lines give a more dynamic, fluid look to the work.
  5. Straight lines appear more formal and structured.
  6. Use the modelling clay to create a line design on one of the cards.
  7. Be deliberate in your use of at least 5 different kinds of lines to create a specific mood. 
ELEMENTS OF DESIGN – Modeling Clay, Photography - Step Two

Step Two

  1. FORM is a 3-dimensional object or figure.
  2. Forms can be organic or geometric, open or closed.
  3. In design, forms can be 3-dimensional, or be 2-dimensional but appear to be 3-dimensional because of shading and colour.
  4. Use the modelling clay to create a form design on one of the cards.
  5. Be deliberate in your use of form to convey a specific idea.
ELEMENTS OF DESIGN – Modeling Clay, Photography - Step Three

Step Three

  1. SHAPE is a 2-dimensional, figure or object.
  2. Shapes can be organic, geometric, or abstract, open or closed.
  3. In design, deliberate use of specific shapes can give a design a certain mood or feeling. For example, vertical shapes suggest strength; horizontal shapes suggest peace; curved shapes suggest happiness; and sharp shapes suggest energy. 
  4. Use the modelling clay to create a shape design on one of the cards.
  5. Be deliberate in your use of shapes to convey a specific idea.
ELEMENTS OF DESIGN – Modeling Clay, Photography - Step Four

Step Four

  1. TEXTURE is the way a surface feels, or looks as if it feels.
  2. Textures can be rough or smooth, subtle or pronounced.
  3. In design, deliberate use of textures can add to the mood or feeling and have a surprising effect on how the design comes across.
  4. Use the modelling clay to create a texture design on one of the cards.
  5. Be deliberate in your use of texture to convey a specific idea.
ELEMENTS OF DESIGN – Modeling Clay, Photography - Step Five

Step Five

  1. VALUE is how light or dark a specific design is.
  2. Designs can be high key or low key.
  3. High key designs have mostly light values and create a happy mood. 
  4. Low key designs have mostly dark values and tend to create a serious mood.
  5. Use the modelling clay to create a value design on one of the cards.
  6. Be deliberate in your use of value to convey a specific idea.
ELEMENTS OF DESIGN – Modeling Clay, Photography - Step Six

Step Six

  1. SPACE is the area around, inside or between shapes or forms.
  2. In design there are two kinds of space – positive and negative.
  3. Positive space is the area occupied by design elements.
  4. Negative space (also called white space) is the area that is left over.
  5. Lots of negative space in a design can give a light, open feeling.
  6. Lack of negative space can leave a design feeling cluttered and too busy.
  7. Use the modelling clay to create a space design on one of the cards.
  8. Be deliberate in your use of negative space to create a specific mood.
ELEMENTS OF DESIGN – Modeling Clay, Photography - Step Seven

Step Seven

  1. COLOUR is a hue that results from light reflecting off a surface, e.g., blue, yellow
  2. In design, colour conveys powerful messages, for example, for many people warm colors suggest excitement, creativity and energy; cool colors suggest peace, harmony and calm.
  3. Use the modelling clay to create a colour design on one of the cards.
  4. Be deliberate in your use of colour to convey a specific idea.
ELEMENTS OF DESIGN – Modeling Clay, Photography - Step Eight

Step Eight

  1. Use your device to take photographs in your environment that emphasize each of the elements, or download images from the Internet.
  2. Crop each photograph to match the size of your design cards – 6.4 cm x 8.9 cm (2.5" x 3.5") and print them. 
  3. Arrange your elements design cards and photographs beside each other and glue them to a piece of Bristol board.
  4. Label each element and title the Bristol board 'Elements of Design'.

Learning Goals

Student will be able to:

  1. Identify characteristics of seven commonly used elements of design;
  2. Use modelling clay to create mini examples of the elements of design;
  3. Photograph examples of design elements in their environment;
  4. Create an Elements of Design poster;
  5. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity; and
  6. Support their ideas with evidence found in the works.

Extensions

  1. Have students find and sketch examples of the elements of design in the natural and built environment. Have them write rich descriptions of the images that includes correct art terminology, for example, The branches of the trees are thick at the trunk and slowly extend to long, thin tendrils of gently flowing lines. They contrast sharply with the pale, azure sky.
  2. ​Have students collect examples of key elements used in logo, web and print design. Have them sketch or glue pictures of examples into their sketch book and write a brief analysis of the design and why it is or is not effective.

Prepare

  1. Prior to the lesson have the students familiarize themselves with modeling clay. You may want to have them do the Clay Basics techniques lesson available on this website,
    Modeling Clay
  2. Prior to the lesson have students review the difference between 2-D and 3-D.
  3. Download the Elements of Design posters available on the website,
    Posters
  4. Download images of examples of the elements from the Internet, for example,
    Line
    Line2
    Drawn Lines
    Form and Shape
    Form and Shape2
    Form-Spheres
    Form2
    Shape
    Texture
    Texture2
    Texture3
    Texture4
    Value
    Value2
    Value3
    Space
    Colour
    Colour2
    Colour3
    Colour-Leaves
    Pantone Colours
    Graphic Design
    Elements in Design
  5. Pre-cut Bristol board into 6.4 cm  x 8.9 cm (2.5" x.3.5") pieces, enough for each student to have 7.
     

Introduction

  1. Introduce the elements of design.
    - the elements of design are the building blocks used to make any visual design
    - if you were making a cake, the elements would be the ingredients such as eggs, flour and sugar. In art and design, the elements are line, shape, form, colour, texture, space and value.
  2. Challenge students to brainstorm career opportunities that use the elements of design, e.g., graphic designer, photographer, artist, interior decorator, clothing designer etc.
  3. Introduce the challenge.

Activities

The Challenge

  1. Use modelling clay to create mini examples of 7 elements of design.
  2. Photograph examples of design elements in your environment.
  3. Create an Elements of Design poster.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  5. Support your ideas with evidence found in the works.

The Process

  1. Ensure that everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    - uses appropriate adjectives to define characteristics of each element
    - mini, modeling clay examples demonstrate identifiable characteristics of each element
    - photograph examples demonstrate identifiable characteristics of each element

    - work is carefully constructed
  3. View and discuss images of each element as you guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work.
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.

Sharing

  1. Display the posters on desks in the classroom.
  2. Provide sticky-it notes beside each poster.
  3. Ask students to view the posters and select three to comment on. Have them write their own name on the sticky-it note as well as a specific comment that says something they like or find interesting about the poster. Ask them to place the sticky-it note beside the poster. Remind them that they have to provide details about what they like. (E.g., You can’t just say, “I really like your poster. You have to say what you like about the poster; for example, I really like the way you found photographs that seem to match your modeling clay design. It reinforces the idea of that element.)
  4. If there are already 3 sticky-note comments at a poster have students choose a different poster to comment on until all posters have at least 3 comments.
  5. Remind students to be respectful when making their comments.
  6. Once everyone has had a chance to comment on 3 different posters discuss the work as a whole class.
  7. Display the images in and around the classroom and school so students can view them as a body of work throughout the next few weeks.

Assessment

  1. Observe students as they work – attention to detail, tranfer of knowledge from lesson to activity, collaboration with classmates. 
  2. Observe students as they discuss their work – active listening, insightful contributions, supporting ideas with evidence found in the work and from personal experience.
  3. Use checklist to track progress. (Downloads – Elements_tracking.pdf)
  4. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads – Elements_self-assessment.pdf)