Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Lemons, Limes, and Oranges--OH MY!

For this lesson I wanted 4th graders to think about radial balance differently than in years past.  In starting this lesson and discussing radial balance students were asked to think about what kind of objects do we see throughout our day that show this?  Some of the common answers: flowers, clocks, bicycle wheel, ferris wheel, ceiling fan, a spinner in a board game, the color wheel and the list continues.

In discussing these objects I went around the room and placed a sliced lemon, lime, and orange for students to observed the radial balance found within the objects.  Not only did the room smell so fresh and clean for once but I also think by having the tangible example they were able to understand it much better.  

As students sat a their tables and drew the citrus fruits I called three students up at a time to create a 12 in by 12 in monoprint using the gelli plate method.  Unfortunately, gelli plates are not in my budget so I made my own using the recipe found here.  THE kids loved it and so did I.  

We used the print as a background for the completed citrus drawings, I think the contrast is quite stunning.  What do you they absolutely delicious?


  1. This is a great lesson. I do have 6 of the 6 inch Gelli plates. I think I will try this with my kiddo's too. Thanks!

  2. i love the citrus lesson! the subtle patterns in the background go so well with the bold color and detail of the fruit. I've read about gelli prints, but never done any myself or with my kiddos. I think i need to change that!

    1. You've got to try it! I eased myself in and started out doing it with a small group during summer school. Then I graduated to trying it with a whole grade. Once you get the hang of it it can go super fast. When I first started doing it with a whole class it took 2 to 3 classes to get everyone to make a print. By the end I had it mastered with 3 printing plates and having each student make one in one class!