I love design! Whether you're talking about intelligent design whereby all things were divinely created for a specific purpose, or design from a humanly engineered perspective, it is arguable that all things are indeed designed. As such, I believe that by teaching design, we can help craft a better and more beautiful world. Ya, I know that sounds ambitious, but I'm happy to be doing it. At the same time, I have really enjoyed learning all that I have about the MYP approach to teaching. I am currently in my 2nd year of teaching through the MYP framework. Naturally, I'm still learning the system, but with regard to design, I certainly believe it has improved my instructional methods and success levels.
On a side note, one of the most intriguing things I have ever studied was the prevalence of the Golden Ratio and the Fibonacci Sequence throughout nature. On YouTube, there is an amazing video called "Doodling in Math: Spirals, Fibonacci, and Being a Plant". In this video, the narrator gives a beautiful explanation of how plants literally have to grow a certain way to survive, which is of course based on the Golden Ratio. In teaching design, I am able to share with my students the things that interest me the most. This makes makes teaching a whole lot easier as it’s always 100% authentic! Design rocks!
Grade 6 - MYP Year 1
Unit: Welcome Home!
Product: A 2-Sided, 3-column travel brochure to market and promote their home town.
Statement of Inquiry "Tourism can be a source of economic support for any locale."
Conceptual Understanding: Effective visual communication requires planning, purpose and clearly defined goals. It should seek to enhance an audience's understanding and engagement.
Skills focus: Page layout & graphic design
Content: Students will learn to following a professional design cycle. They also develop technical skills in page layout, color theory, research and 2D graphic design. Studentsalso learn to about, how to access, engage and contribute to social media and information sharing systems such as Trip Advisor, Lonely Planet and Wiki Travels.
Grade 7 - MYP Year 2
Unit: Impressions Matter!
Product: An A3 poster to promote a new mobile game blending Pokemon Go with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them!
Statement of Inquiry "Visuals that promote an idea or product, often achieve mixed results when viewed by people of different cultures, ages and gender."
Conceptual Understanding: Aesthetically pleasing and eye catching visuals that capture the audience's attention, will have a strong chance of success in delivering a specific message.
Skills focus: Adobe Photoshop
Content: In the development of this poster, students learn to following and implement a design process based on a professional design cycle. Students learn soft skills in marketing, communication, research and audience targeting. They learn technical skills in 2D image manipulation, color theory, page layout and Adobe Photoshop.
Grade 8 - MYP Year 3
Unit: Making Your Face!
Product: A personal avatar that could be used to represent themselves on social media.
Statement of Inquiry "The Internet is a semi-anonymous environment where people can mold and modify their identity as they choose."
Conceptual Understanding: Avatars may not only represent a person or place, they can also represent personalities, ideologies and much more.
Skills focus: Adobe Illustrator
Content: In the development project, students follow a professional design cycle to research and develop a personal avatar. Students explore such concepts as identity, self expression, aesthetics and form. Students learned technical skills in Adobe Illustrator, vector graphic design, avatar and logo creation.
Design Ice Breaker: I designed the puzzle project above for the first day of the school in 2017. I chose to showcase it here because it was by far the best ice breaker I've have ever used! As students sat down for their 1st day of Design, I handed out several large poster boards that had puzzle pieces pre-drawn. The students cut them out and distributed the pieces. I then asked each student to artistically decorate their puzzle piece to represent themselves. Each student then presented their pieces which helped us get to know each other. The fun part though, is when I asked the kids to assemble their puzzles. Not one group assembled their puzzles in less than 30 minutes! The task provided a lot of opportunities to reflect on efforts, identify problems in their approach, propose solutions, and try again . . . aha!! The design cycle in action on day one! One class said they needed to work in smaller groups. They divided their class into three teams, but after a few minutes they quickly realized three teams won't be effective at assembling only two puzzles, especially since they did not know which pieces belonged in which group! Another great learning moment was when the classes realized the sides they decorated might not all be the same! This was another great opportunity to point out the value of planning before action!