Friday, December 3, 2010

Group Project Mystery

My JH students were in for a surprise when I gave them few directions and wouldn't answer any questions.  With little guidance they had freedom which can be exciting and scary for some.

In preparation for this assignment, I drew our mascot on large poster paper after I projected the image onto the wall.  I traced the image then created a 12X12 inch square grid over it.  I then separated each square and numbered them so they were in order.

I transfered each square image onto a higher quality paper so it could withstand a variety of mediums.

My directions were to leave the pencil lines and somehow distinguish a difference between lines.  My students had the option of using a combination of oil pastels, markers, colored pencils, and watercolor paint to complete their squares.  I happened to have 13 students in my class and my original image was 24 squares.  I added another column of 4 so that each student could have 2 squares and I joined in the fun by completeing the 2 leftover squares.  I tried to make the squares random so the students could have a variety of blank squares and ones with the pencil drawing on them.  This also kept them guessing.

The color was applied to all squares in 1 50 minute class period.  The next class period we put it all together.  Many had figured out the previous day that we were going to assemble it together but nobody guessed what it was going to be.  I have 4 large tables in my room so I had students divide the numbers by row and put them in number order.  We taped each row together on the back then combined the 4 rows together to create the whole thing.  "AH HA...I get it now!"  Well that was the response from some.  Others needed further explanation.  We talked about it visually and decided it needed some black outlines to tie it all together.  We then ventured into the hallway to tape it up on the wall.  I decided a great location would be near the gym since it is the beginning of basketball season.

Go Big Buffs! :)

This was a fun, quick project that turned out pretty well!  I've had many comments on how it was really cool once they figured out what it was...ha!  I may try this again using a different subject.  Because there are few "rules" it could work for many grade levels.


  1. Awesome! I might use it with my older students if we have an extra day!

  2. I did something sort of similar, years ago when I taught middle schoolers. I picked an interesting picture (each year something different - I we did: Andy Warhol's portrait of Marilyn Monroe, a giant graphic sun with a face, a zebra, etc) and cut it into numbered squares. Each student was given one square (without knowing the total picture)and shown how to enlarge it with a graph. When done, we assembled the whole huge picture, connected/redrew lines as needed, and voila!