Related Excursion: Visit to Yale Campus, Grove Street Cemetery, side streets along Dwight, Chapel, and Howe. With camera in hand, students will take snapshots of various ironwork fences. Children will zero in on fence-work design within the outlying community as compared to wrought iron fence work designs on Yale campus created by Samuel Yellin.
Two 45 minute periods.
Pretend you are a resident of New Haven during a specific century. You have been asked or hired to create a fence for a specified purpose. Sketch a sample of your fence design. Keep in mind the series of questions explored when we closely examined fences throughout our unit study. Use all of these elements to create your a sample portion of your three-dimensional fence/gate. Although your three-dimensional figure will reflect but a small part of our utilitarian object, your sketch will give us a truer picture of where it will be situated and how it will be used. Think about the challenges you face as you design your fence/gate (i.e., what type of material will you use to create it (wrought iron, wood, or stone) and why would you use? What type(s) of design will you use (i.e., simplistic, intricate, symbolic…)? What factors will impact the type of fence you create (cost, customer status, use…)? Through this activity, you will step into the shoes of the 19
century farmer, blacksmith, woodcraftsman, or stone crafter.
Creating symmetrical patterns, identifying line (i.e., horizontal, vertical, oblique), distinguishing size and color variations, utilizing (and for some youngsters strengthening) fine motor skills, comparing and contrasting, the use of logical thinking skills as it applies to layout and design.
Brown, red, white, black acrylic paint
Krylon antique silver, black, and bronze metallic paint
Plaster of paris
Plywood and/or Popsicle sticks
5” x 7” display board
Charcoal pencils and kneaded erasers
9-ounce cups (2 per group of 4 students)
Sample photo images of gates and stone, metal, and wood fences (photo images of New England stone walls/fences, pictorial images of wooden fences, fences by Samuel Yellin, Phillip Simmons, et al; set of 5-6 assorted images per group)
This activity should be conducted in groups of four and can be used as a center-based activity. Student will use media that best suits their fence design (e.g., clay and acrylic paints will be used for stone walls and fences; wood media will be used for creation of wooden fences; metallic paints and clay will be used for metal fences).
Spread newspaper on tables.
Provide white construction paper on which children will sketch their fence design. (For those creating iron fences, encourage students to create symmetrical patterns). Allow students to be creative, urging them to keep in mind the purpose for creating the fence. Images can be created in horizontal or vertical patterns. The entire page should be completed. Have each student sketch the landscape for which the fence has been created.
Distribute white 6” x 8” drawing paper. Using #2 pencils have each student create the landscape for which his/her fence is being designed. Upon completion, set drawing to the side. Child should include his/her name neatly printed in the lower right hand corner of his/her finished drawing.
Distribute white 6” x 8” tracing paper. Again using # 2 pencils, create a fence/gate design. Encourage students to use symmetrical patterns. The created pattern should repeat itself at least three to four times on the page. Students should examine the width and length of used shapes and designs, ensuring that the entire page is utilized.
Cover tables with newspaper. Place 2 cups of water per table, along with 2 paint brushes per student. Provide each student with necessary art materials. Let their creative juices flow. Have students label their creations with their names. Set completed work aside and proceed with Activity 2 below.
After completion, aesthetically mount fence sample, scenic illustration, and writing on display. Showcase for the entire school community and visitors to experience.