Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Police Sketch Artist Lesson

Having no relieving work today I was at a bit of a loss as to what I could blog about, so I am taking a bit of a trip down memory lane today.

At the beginning of the year for my last placement I was teaching in a Year 7-8 class. During my full control I taught an integrated unit centring on the theme of 'Crime Never Pays'.  The text that the students read in relation to this unit was Alfred Noyes' narrative poem 'The Highwayman'. Our art lessons centred around the experience of a sketch artist.

To open our visual art part of the unit I split the class in half and asked half of the children run around the school field and wait outside. To the children in the class I related a scenario where the classroom had just been robbed and they were the witnesses:

The robber flew in the doorway, yelled at the class "Don't move", grabbed the teacher's laptop and ran out the door. They only saw the robber's face for 15 seconds.

After relaying the scenario I placed a picture on the IWB and allowed the children to look at it for 15 seconds. I then tell the children to make note of what they noticed about the criminal and went over distinguishing features such as eye, hair, skin colour, body shape and size etc. I used well known figures as the images to help children remember the faces more clearly.

With this done I let in the children who were waiting outside. These children would be the police sketch artists that would profile the image of the criminal. The sketch artists have to question the  witnesses to get a description of the criminal. As they question their witness they sketch the features that are being described to them. I provided an Interview Sheet to help guide them.

Then students swapped roles and we repeated the scenario only changing the image of the assailant. The students loved this lesson and it gave them a real life application for the skills that they were learning. After all students had a chance to play both witness and sketch artist I asked them to Think-Pair-Share about what elements were important to completing an accurate and detailed sketch.

I used this first lesson to introduce the students to the necessary skills need to become a sketch artist. We later built on this lesson by learning drawing skills of shading and perspective before students made a wanted poster for a character in their own narrative poems about a highwayman figure.

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