"Mr. Cummins, you know that project we started three minutes ago and are supposed to work on the rest of the week?"
Everyone needs more activities in their reserve. Students reassemble the scrambled image using the grid. Scrambled grids ensure that student's attention is focused on what they are doing and not distracted by the overall image.
The grid drawing technique is a time-tested method of drawing used historically by the likes of Leonardo DaVinci and Albrecht Dürer. In traditional grid drawing, an artist constructs a grid over their source image and a proportionately identical one on their target surface. This serves three purposes: (1) A complex image is reduced to a series of simplified parts. (2) The grid itself serves to keep the drawing in correct proportion by using coordinates to properly locate aspects of the image. (3) Finally, when one truly focuses on one square at a time, the left-brain's interpretation of the overall subject matter is less likely to interfere with the right-brain's execution of the task.
As a right-brained drawing technique, mystery grids are particularly suited to addressing left-mode issues. The original image is intentionally scrambled to deny the left-brain access and facilitate a shift to a more beneficial mode of mental processing.
Grid drawing isn't exclusive to art class. The technique is very effective at teaching itself. The process addresses certain math concepts and the variety of subject matter can relate to other areas. This activity also transcends language barriers. I have found that non-english speaking students can discern the method and get to work right away.
My Mystery Grids are also available in bundles!
If you'd like to introduce grid drawing as a new concept to your students, you may find my introductory series beneficial.
© Scott Cummins
Cross curricular with math. PDF format.