Tag Archives: Graphic Design

Using Templates to Teach Photoshop

Sammon Spring2014 8th

I have taught Adobe design programs to students ranging from first grade through high school. Giving both verbal and visual directions as well as repeated demonstrations has always been at the core of instruction. This spring I have added another visual cue to help students understand the tasks I’m asking them to complete and the functions they are learning in Photoshop.

My current residency is the first in which students are creating finished projects within a custom template. I designed a grid and labeled each section with what imagery or text belongs in that area. This is adding a new layer of instruction, reinforced academic content and has been very successful in keeping students on task. By providing the prompts or instructions on each screen, the students can stay focused on their own project and I can move forward with the example project that is being projected for the demonstrations.

One of the other advantages of this process is that it provides an immediate introduction to layers, one of the more challenging and fundamentally necessary component to the Photoshop platform.

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Seeing Clearly

A student from Mound's 6th grade class with his team's in-progress torso casting.

A student from Mound’s 6th grade class with his team’s in-progress torso casting.

Students in Mound’s 6th grade classes are currently working on see-through sculptures of the human body for their STEM project.   With a focus on the organs and the cells that make them up, students started the process with their primary teachers, learning about six of the most important organs in the human body.  They were asked to use internet to research each organ and compose a short paragraph about each.  For the next phase PAA introduced students to Graphic Design using Adobe Illustrator, working with their previously composed text we made small informational tags to help viewers understand the structure and functions of the organs.

Today we began clear tape casting of the students torsos, the students were making art and loved it!  Casting is great in that way, its almost magic to see students with little to no knowledge of sculpture have instant success with creating a life size human torso.

Next week we will be using colored tape to construct full scale models of each of the organs.  The last step will be to combine the torsos, organs, and informational tags into the students final sculptures.

Stay tuned to the PPA Artist-Educators blog for more progress and to see the students completed Projects.

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