Challenge Rectangles

Challenge Rectangles
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This studio exercise provides practice for seeing and understanding geometric space as well as provides a great example for how difficult drawings can be broken down into a much more simple task by looking for clues and references to help find accurate proportions.

Students often struggle with challenging drawings and often want to give up too early. This lesson helps students understand that finding a strategy can make a difficult drawing task much easier. Depending if you want to discuss the strategies or have the students try out the challenge first, students typically struggle until they are able to find a strategy to get the correct proportions. Finding the strategies can be a challenge in itself for students, but after some looking and discussion, the strategies become very clear and they then are able to successfully create the drawings that many thought were too difficult.

Here are some strategies and clues to make these challenge rectangles more manageable:

Examples #1 and #3- These can be drawn overlapping each other (#1 at almost any angle) but what makes the drawing work is making sure that the line where the blocks overlap is parallel to the edges of the cube on the right. With this in mind, anyone who can draw a cube can draw these challenge rectangles.

Examples #2 and #3- These can be broken down once students realize that top and bottom edges of each form line up with the form next to it. The best strategy for drawing #2 and #4 is to draw it as one long form, then use lines to break them into two different forms.

Here are a few of the great features about this worksheet:
1. Easy instructions.
2. Includes a scoring rubric which creates clear, concrete expectations for easy scoring.
3. The scoring rubric is easily usable for student reflection or peer evaluation. Student reflection and peer evaluation provide instant feedback about their progress, makes the expectations clear, and assigning the true score for the assignment easier.

There are many ways this sheet can be used. The exercise is designed to be completed on the provided page as a worksheet but it could also be completed on a separate sheet of paper, in a sketchbook journal, or just be used as an informational handout for students. I have used this page in each of these ways and the procedure for each method is a bit different. I expect you may have your own ideas about how to use this sheet but here is what has worked for me.

Completed on a separate sheet of paper:

1. When students are finished with their drawings required to reflect on their progress for the assignment by circling the number that best describes how well each category was completed. Work turned in without a reflection is not scored or entered and is handed back until the reflection is complete.

2. Once students are finished, the score guide could be cut away, placed over the top of the work, and attached using a small piece of masking tape that reaches from the front of the score guide, over where the pages meet, and behind the work itself. This allows the work to be easily flipped up and down to completely view the work or the score guide when grading. This set up is also really helpful for detaching the score guide later without marking the work because no tape is touching the front of the work and will not peel off any paper from the front when detached. I also hide the staplers in my class so that students do not staple score guides to their art.

Completed in a sketchbook journal:

1. The score rubric can be used as a bookmark if students turn in their sketchbook to grade the assignment. Work without a completed reflection will not be scored and will be turned back until it is completed.

2. If there is time, one of my favorite ways is to meet with students during class to grade their assignments. Moving about the class, often I can meet with students, view their reflections, give specific feedback face to face, mark the final scores, collect the completed score guides, and enter the scores later.

Other Tips:
1. Students are encouraged to read the rubric at the bottom of the page to be clear how their work will be scored before they begin.

2. Students who reflect less than a perfect score are encouraged to improve their work until it is correct. Usually all that is needed is a bit more time, effort, and attention to detail.
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1 page
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