Optical Art in 5th Grade

Fifth graders just completed a lesson on Optical Art.  Here is a quick run through of what we did through this lesson.

1.  Students read about Optical Art with a partner then filled out a crossword to highlight main ideas.

2.  We looked at artwork examples of Optical Art from Vasarely and Riley (since that is who is referenced in info packet and crossword).  I shared out metaphor phrases (spinning tornado, hopping dance floor, flowing river) and had students guess which artwork they belonged with.   This helped students discover what “illusion” was happening in each work.

3. I passed out sketch sheets and reviewed 6 Op Art challenges that students would need to conquer and gave some tips based on how Riley and Vasarely achieved these illusions.  Here are the 6 challenges:

  • Illusion of motion with line
  • Adjacent colors
  • Warm and Cool colors
  • Altered grid to create an illusion of space
  • Illusion with form
  • Vibration/rotation illusion

4. Students had time to sketch and then work on their final artwork.  Students could choose between drawing their final 6 ideas on a cube template (like above) or on a flat sheet of paper.

5.  Using the peer assessment form, students critiqued another students work.

Additional idea that I did not get to:  Set up Wallwisher debate wall about validity of Op Art as art.  Have one side for it and one side against it.  Students may not repeat answers and must write in complete sentences.

Check out the online gallery of all student work in the RPE Artsonia gallery by clicking here!


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