If you are an elementary school teacher, you might have a difficult time helping your students connect with art. One way to make art more personally meaningful for them is to do a lesson about optical illusions. Optical illusions are great because they help children personally connect with the art and allow him or her to interact with it without touching it or causing it damage. Children learn to look at art and see what it does to them, what they see, or how they feel. Here are some ideas for a lesson series involving optical illusions as art.
1. Get Large Pictures and Have a Group Discussion About What People See
The first thing that you should do is get a series of larger pictures that show optical illusions, such as pictures that students can focus on and see dots or other aspects of the picture move, or pictures that have two different images hidden within them. Gather all of the students around and have them sit so that they can all see the picture. Then, perform a poll or ask them an open-ended question. For example, an optical illusion that, when looked at one way shows an old woman and another way shows a young woman, can have a discussion that is conducted by you asking students to raise their hands based on which one that they see. Try to see if your students can get members of their class who saw something different to see what they saw. This will provoke arguments and lively discussion, piquing the kids' interest further.
2. Perform a Basic Art Lesson
Go to a craft store and purchase at least two sheets of paper that has a zebra print on it per student that you have. Three or four might be better. Then, purchase one piece of card stock that is no larger than 8.5" x 11" per child. Depending on the age of your students, cut the zebra paper into random shapes or have your students do it themselves. Then, give each of the children glue and have them glue the pieces onto their card stock so that they are overlapping and crazy. This will create an optical illusion that looks like some of the pieces of zebra print are closer than other depending on where you focus. Go online to find other optical illusion art lessons that kids the age of your students can do.
3. Take Them to an Exhibit
In order to complete the association between optical illusions and art that children can enjoy, look around your city and see if you can find any museums or art galleries that specialize in showing optical illusion paintings and other works of art. Organize a field trip and take your students to an optical art gallery or museum. This will allow them to really comprehend that art can be for kids and that art can be fun. Many galleries will even offer tours that are specifically designed for children.
For more information, contact an art gallery specializing in optical art.