As always, light graffiti has been a HUGE hit with my students the last two weeks.
The first week I introduce Light Graffiti by asking the kids what they know about 'graffiti'. Generally someone says that it is done with spray paint and that it is illegal. I tell them that is true, but graffiti can be more than spray paint. I explain that graffiti is making a permanent mark on a surface that you don't have permission to write on - and yes it is illegal. We briefly discuss that some art might look like graffiti but are really murals. I explain that graffiti can be a mural when the artist is granted permission to do their art on a specific surface.
After discussing graffiti and murals I ask students why they think that LIGHT graffiti might be a popular alternative in the art community. Some classes get it right away and other classes need a little push. I will often emphasize the word LIGHT in my sentence again. How do you think LIGHT graffiti would differ from normal graffiti and why might artists like the alternative?! ::POP:: ::DING:: the hands shoot up all over the room. Yes, yes, light won't make any permanent marks on the surface - so it isn't illegal!!
Next we watch the following two videos that I found on youtube. I explain that the first one is a commercial and that we will watch it twice -- once for fun and the second time to look for the people creating the light graffiti. The second video is a tutorial that explains what we need to make our own light graffiti.
After the videos the students tell me what we need for the day: colored lights, camera, tripod, and setting settings. (If there is time at the end of class I explain and show the students the shutter/shutter speed).
Next, I explain that I will call up two students at a time to pick out one or two colored flashlights. When they are ready they will step inside of the polygon I taped on the floor (yes we really do talk about what a polygon is). Then I will say "Ready, Set, Go" when I say go they can start moving around for their picture. When their picture is over I will say something like, "Let's check it out" or "Lets see what it looks like". The picture is then projected through our projector on the board! I go on to explain that they will get another turn right away so stay where they are. I want the students to go twice in a row because they learn SO MUCH from that first picture, that I want to give them a chance to try it again once they get the hang of it. At this point I break and ask if there are questions - there are generally very few.
Then last, but not least, I ask the class if I have only two kids doing the light graffiti what is everyone else busy doing?! "Watching" they all say. I really stress that they need to ACTIVELY watch - as they will learn from each other. It is safe to say that 99% of my students had never done this before and if they watch each other they get ideas and start to build off of other students movements. It is really very fascinating.
Again, I ask for questions - if none we get moving!
Here is a video of some kiddos making their first light graffiti:
Enjoy! This is a blast at the end of the year!