Thanks to our friends at Oklahoma A+ Schools, we’re continuing a year-long series of easy, fun and engaging arts integration activities that kids and families can enjoy together. For this tenth installment, we’re exploring composition.
Bonus: Integrating the arts with students’ everyday academics is proven to increase comprehension and retention!
Lesson 10: Scavenger Hunt Composition
Composition is the way in which a whole or mixture is made up. It can be a musical piece made up of many different notes, a painting made up of unique colors and strokes or a story made up of characters, setting and plot. Creating a composition can be as simple as collecting many pieces to make something new.
Using the Rule of Thirds
The Rule of Thirds is the process of dividing an image into thirds. That is when something is split into three equal parts. Two horizontal lines and two vertical lines create a nine-part grid. The most important parts of a piece of art are placed at the four intersection points. Let’s practice finding the intersections.
- Take a blank piece of paper and fold it into thirds by folding one piece over the other like a brochure.
- Crease the lines. Then unfold your paper. Point out each of the three equal sections you have created.
- Turn your paper and fold it into thirds the other way.
- Crease the lines. Then unfold your paper. Can you see the thirds in this way?
- By folding both ways, you have created boxes. How many boxes did you create? Identify all 9 boxes by counting them. Find the middle box, the left boxes and right boxes, the top boxes and bottom boxes.
- Find the 4 intersections. The intersection is the point where a horizontal line meets a vertical line. Make a dot at each intersection.
- Look at a photo from a magazine or coloring book. Can you imagine it split into thirds? Identify where the intersections might be. With an adult’s permission, try folding it in the same way you folded the blank paper. Does this image follow the rule of thirds?
You may have noticed that in professional photos, paintings and even book illustrations, the most interesting or important part falls where one of the four intersections might be. Using the rule of thirds creates visually interesting and pleasing compositions.
Create Your Own Composition
Use the rule of thirds to create a landscape with found objects. A landscape is the depiction of natural scenery, such as mountains, valleys, trees, rivers or the ocean.
- Go on a found object scavenger hunt. Look for objects that could be used in a landscape composition. Collect items that appeal to you. Look for different items such as colored scrap paper, a leaf or twig, which could become a whole tree. Use your imagination and your objects to create your landscape.
- Decide on a landscape. Lay out all of your items. Imagine them in one composition. What natural scenery do they make you think of? Collect more materials if needed.
- Plan your landscape. Remembering the rule of thirds, begin planning your landscape. Define the area with a piece of paper or use string to make the outline of your composition, like a frame. Imagine the nine-part grid and the four intersection points. What will be your interesting point of focus? Use the paper you folded in the first activity to sketch your idea.
- Create your landscape. Place your objects onto your defined area, keeping the rule of thirds in mind. Move items around and collect more as needed to complete your creation. Adjust your point of focus as needed so it is placed in one of your four imaginary intersections.
- Step back and observe. When your composition is completed, step back to look at the final design. What do you notice? What grabs your attention? Invite others to look at your landscape as well. What do they notice? How do their observations differ from yours?
Integrated arts activities are created by certified teachers and provided by Oklahoma A+ Schools to meet the Oklahoma Academic Standards across multiple content areas. Find more activities at metrofamilymagazine.com/