Learning about Expressive lines with Zentangles

I have always had a love for Zentangles, maybe its because they can be done anywhere – on anything. A way to doodle with meaning, if you will. Did you ever want to just doodle, but where thinking “What do I doodle?” Do a Zentangle… With that in mind, this lesson is a great first lesson for Art 1 or in my case, Fundamentals of Art, students to explore line and expressive line without feeling like they need to be perfect. This is a two part lesson, the couple of days the students learn to create Zentangles – is strictly learning the Zentangles, and moving on trying to gain better insight on how to create one. They will create a small 4.5×6″ Zentangle. Then part two will add in the Blackout Poetry.

During this lesson students will explore geometric, organic shapes, repetition, patterns, line and expressive line by learning about Zentangles. After a short lecture, the student will begin to explore how to create repetition and patterns by creating zentangles. Then on day 3 they will be introduced to negative/positive space and how we can use negative to create a more dynamic piece of work. Also on day 3 they will learned about blackout poetry and how it has become very popular in the artworld. As a final assignment the students will be pulling everything learned together to create a blackout poetry piece surrounded by zentangles.

Below are the worksheets for the lesson, along with the rubric and Prezi. I might even include a You-Tube. Just not sure if I have the time.

NJ Standards: 1.3.12.D.2

Elements of Art: geometric, organic shapes, line and expressive line

Design Principles: repetition, patterns

Artistic Language:

geometric shapes – Are circles, rectangles, squares, triangles and so on – have the clear edges one achieves when using tools to create them. Most geometric shapes are made by humans, though crystals are also considered to be geometric despite the fact that they are made in nature.

organic shapes – Are shapes with a natural look and a flowing and curving appearance. Organic shapes and forms are typically irregular or asymmetrical.  Organic shapes are associated with things from the natural world, like plants and animals.

repetition – refers to one object or shape repeated.

patterns – Pattern can be described as a repeating unit of shape or form.

Line-a dot that moves on a path, it is an element of art, and is the most basic element of all.

Expressive lines- contour lines, or curved marks that increase the sense of dynamism of a work of art.


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