Monday, November 12, 2012

Optical Illusion

A couple weeks ago we did an optical illusion project in my art classes. (5th/6th grades.) I found the project here at We Heart Art. To begin, each student needs a black marker, a square sheet of paper and a straight edge (ruler or cardboard) that is longer than the width of the paper. Start by making 6 intersecting lines across the paper much as you would cut a pie or draw a spiderweb. Save yourself some trouble and show them how to intersect each line in the exact same spot in the middle before they start. I told them to put a tiny dot in the center and make sure every cross line hit it exactly. It can help to show them how to start their pen on the center dot and draw along the straight edge away from the dot toward each opposite direction. Check as they draw to be sure they understand this concept or you will be having some sad students and lots of frustration.
Now, in every other "pie wedge", have the children make spaced, curved lines (like smiley faces) from the point to the edge of the paper. About 4 or 5 should fill the spaces well. Have students choose one marker and color in every other curve in each pie piece with it. Do not let them fill in curves in the empty pie wedges yet. Too confusing!!!!! When they are totally done coloring their first color in the curved wedges, have them add curved lines to the remaining wedge sections. These lines should curve the opposite of the first lines. They can now choose a second color marker and fill in every other curved space of the remaining wedges.
A great optical illusion. In the original project, they used colored pencils to shade the edges of the white spaces of each wedge to make them look even more curved. Our class time did not allow for this, and besides, I forgot!
Three examples by W. and two of her best buddies, Sidney and Hannah.

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