Sunday, September 1, 2013

Optical illusions

For our first official project in 2nd grade, we created simple optical illusions that "tricked our eyes." This project was really simple, but gave us practice with using rulers (you wouldn't believe how tricky that can be!) and following directions.

I had them start out by using their ruler to create vertical stripes on their horizontal paper. If they were right handed, they started on the left side so they could firmly hold down with their left hand. The exact opposite goes for left-handed friends. I gave them some tips about lining their paper up with the side of their paper, and we had success with this step. After that, they were given several cookie cutter shapes to trace. Our paper was only 9x12, so I told them to use at least 3 shapes, but no more than 5. After doing all of this in pencil, I called them back over to demonstrate coloring. 

They all seemed overly confident in this step, but I told them they better watch. It seems that their confidence was a little misplaced, because they needed a lot of help after the demonstration. I recommended they start by coloring in the stripes and leaving all of the shapes blank. They selected two colors or crayons, and colored every other stripe. Once we got that step down, I told them to just make a mark in each shape with the opposite color of the stripe. So if the stripe was green, they made a quick blue mark in the shape inside that stripe. This way, if they messed up, we could easily color over that shape. 

The kids responded really well with this project, and I love seeing them get excited about doing something that looks super challenging to them at first. When they realize they CAN do it, it gives them confidence for next. And not to mention... It gives them confidence in following my directions! 

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