Gina M. Knox
October 23, 1998
EDTE 229B, Sec. 09

Grade Level: 6th
Time: Two 1 hour sessions

A BIRD’S-EYE VIEW

TOPIC: This Visual Arts lesson focuses on the process of drawing a perspective from an eye level high above the ground. Students will create a chalk drawing of a scene of their choice by using the process and techniques of horizon line, a variety of lines, vanishing points, and three-dimensional techniques.

RATIONALE: Perspective is an important concept for students to learn because the appearance of objects change as the point of view changes. Point of view is an important spatial relationship concept. More objects can be seen from a higher point of view and the three dimensions of structures become visible. The study of the processes necessary for creating different perspectives fosters students’ appreciation of different drawing styles and the amount of observation and work required of the artist to draw accurately. The study of a variety of artwork which depicts countryside, cities, and other landscapes from a bird’s-eye view will enhance a basic understanding of how an artist can depict a perspective from various eye levels by adjusting the horizon line. In addition, the study will enable students to express their creativity by providing additional visual arts tools.

INFORMATION FOR THE TEACHER
Lesson Prerequisite: Students should have the basic knowledge necessary to draw three-dimensional rectangles or be able to use the concept of vanishing points in

drawings. Helpful Hint: It may be helpful for students to have building blocks

and flashlights available to use for models on which they can base their drawings.

COMPONENTS/OBJECTIVES:
Artistic Perception: Students will be able to describe how objects change in appearance when viewed from a higher point. Students will be able to define and identify the horizon line on selected artwork.

Creative Expression: Students will be able to draw a scene using a highhorizon line to accurately depict a bird’s-eye view of the scene.

Aesthetic Valuing: Students will be able to share their drawing with classmates using the terms perspective and horizon line appropriately.

STRATEGY: Guided Discovery and Direct-Instruction

VOCABULARY: Perspective, Three-dimensional, Horizon Line, Eye Level
perspective-the representation of three-dimensional objects on a flat surface.
three-dimensional-having length, width, and depth. (A drawing is only two-dimensional because it is flat and has only length and width.)
horizon line-an actual or imaginary line in a work of art that represents the place where the sky and earth/land object appear to meet. The horizon line always appears to be at a person’s eye level.
eye level-imaginary line marking the level of a person’s eyes (e.g.ground level, above ground level, and directly over head as in maps).

PROCEDURES
Introduction: The teacher conducts a whole-class discussion through inquiry. The following questions may be asked. "Did you ever go to the top of a tall building and look down?" "Imagine that you are a hot air balloon or helicopter, hovering over a huge city, trees in a park, or your own back yard. What might you see?" "How is that view different from the ground level view?" The teacher reviews the process for creating three-dimensional cubes and asks students how those techniques can help them to depict a perspective from a high point.

Activity Sequence:
1. Students are divided into groups of four. Each group analyzes a different example of artwork using a bird’s-eye view and examines and discovers the techniques the artist used to create the perspective.

2. A member of each group writes their findings on the board. The teacher uses the information to introduce the new vocabulary: perspective, three-dimensional, horizon line, and eye level. The teacher directs students’ attention to the location of the horizon line in works of art which were shown in the introduction and studied by the groups. The teacher checks for understanding by showing a few new examples and non-examples of bird’s eye view.

3. The teacher reviews the process for drawing three-dimensionalobjects.

4. The teacher draws an example of a bird’s-eye view of a city scene on the chalkboard. A horizon line is drawn then the scene is drawn below it. Student understanding is checked by asking students to identify lines or details that need to be drawn to make the perspective accurate and complete.

5. Students use their imagination and decide on a bird’s-eye view that they would like to draw. It can be of a city, countryside, landscape, or even another planet. Students may choose to use building blocks to create a scene. Students who choose to do so, design their model on their desk or the floor to give them a bird’s-eye view.

6. Students sketch a rough draft of their idea on scratch paper. After students critique their rough drafts they collect their chalk and black paper from a supply table.

7. Students begin their drawings by visualizing a horizon line in the upper half of their paper and drawing most of their scene below it. They draw details by adding windows, people, animals, plants, clouds, stars, and shading or sunlight effects.

8. Students sign and mat their artwork on white paper.

9. Students clean-up and prepare for group sharing about their artwork and to reflect on the lesson.

Closure:
Students share their finished drawings with a partner. Students choose something in particular they like about their classmate’s artwork and share their views with the class. In a whole-class discussion, key concepts are reviewed. Drawings are displayed on a wall.

EVALUATION: Each student’s drawing will be evaluated for clear evidence of use of a horizon line which results in a bird’s-eye view. Specifically, drawings should include an imaginary horizon line within the upper half of the drawing, and most drawing and detailing should appear below that line. In a whole class discussion, students will be asked to describe what they did to show perspective in their drawings. Students’ responses should include: drawing the horizon line in the upper half of the paper; drawing the top of structures or overhead view of structures; and reducing or omitting drawings of details such as doors and tree trunks which would be larger in a ground level view.

MATERIALS:
black drawing paper 12x18-cropped 1" on each dimension
white construction paper 12x18-for matting
white chalk
building blocks-assorted (optional)
5 flashlights (optional)
spray chalk fixative (optional-check school’s toxic policy)
bird’s eye view artwork examples (see references)
artwork non-examples

CLEAN-UP: Students return their building blocks to the storage box. Chalk is returned to the supply area. Students wash the chalk off of their hands.

EXTENSIONS:
This lesson can be extended by adding color to the perspective drawings using watercolors. Connect the lesson to social studies by creating three-dimensional maps of students’ neighborhoods or the school campus. Students can create perspective art discovering other angles. Student can brainstorm related objects or settings which would be interesting to draw with perspective, each student chooses a different setting from the same theme, and the finished "mural" can be displayed.

REFERENCES:
Hubbard, Guy. 1986. Art in Action. San Diego, CA: Coronado Publishers.

Bird’s-eye view art examples:
Edward Hopper, El Palacio, 1946. (compare to his Sunday Morning and
Night Hawks)
Edward Hopper, Night Shadows, 1921.
Oskar Kokoschka, Courmayeur et les Dents des Geants, 1927.
Vincent van Gogh, The Starry Night, 1889
Rene’ Magritte, The Empire of Light II.
Edward Hicks, The Residence of David Twining, 1787.

Internet source for art examples:

http://www.Kn.pacbell.com/wired/art/art.html