“Drawing is like making an expressive gesture with the advantage of permanence.” Henri Matisse
We may think outside the box, but we can teach within the lines. Teachers are always creating lines – from lining up the class to go outside to lining up desks in rows. Lines are found on the playground and in the lunch room. Lines are actually the architecture that forms a school. I like to use an art lesson about lines to teach academic math vocabulary. Line: 7 Elements of Art by Jane Castillo is a great resource to introduce the concept of lines. The book uses beautiful photographs to illustrate different kinds of lines in art and nature. As we read the book, we draw different kinds of lines in the air with our arms and hands. We practice drawing various lines on white boards, then we use those lines to draw a picture. On the playground, we follow lines painted on the pavement and discuss if they’re straight, curved, diagonal, horizontal or vertical. It’s logical that the language of line used in art parallels the language of line used in math, science and dance. Reinforce this concept daily. Your students will become adept in making linear designs with their bodies, in their art and through their use of language.
What kind of lines will you make with your students today? Referencing a map, can your students use their bodies to show horizontal and vertical lines? Can they walk in a zig-zag line to the cafeteria? Take a line walk around the campus. Let the students draw whatever lines they find. The more you use the vocabulary of line, the more your students will excel with academic language. The path is a straight line!