This project was cross-curricular as 1st grade scholars were learning about lightness and darkness in their science unit. It was awesome seeing students lightbulbs go off as they made connections to their science learning and using highlights and shadows in art class.
To begin this project, students each drew their own large robot design on a piece of 12" x 18" paper. They had to use lots of different shapes and be creative and silly with their designs. Once their drawings were done, they used a light blue tempera cake to color their entire robot. The "oooooh, ahhhhh" moment was when I demonstrated how to add a stripes of white along once side of their robot to show light reflection and a stripe of dark along the other side to show shadows. The students said that it suddenly made the robot look alive. Adding such a simple detail really made the robot go from looking 2-D to 3-D!
After they added their highlights and shadows, they had fun adding lots of colors for the rest of their fun robot details. The students had such a great time making these. I overheard the students telling stories about their robots adventures, their powers, and their silly robot names.