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Over and Over: Printing

Page history last edited by Frank Curkovic 7 years, 6 months ago

10 weeks (1x80mins a week)


Students are evaluated on knowledge, process, participation as well as product.

*Lesson activities below are subject to change at teacher's discretion.



Summative Assessment Tasks:

  • Students will keep records of research and progress in their Developmental Workbooks. Students will create a lino print that utilises repetition, positive/negative space and motifs. (Criteria A, B) 
  • Students will also plan and evaluate their routines and approaches to clowning in their Developmental Workbooks. (Criteria A, D) 
  • Students will submit a final self-reflection and critique of peers’ work. (Criteria C)




Approaches to Learning:


•time management—including using time effectively in class, keeping to deadlines

•self-management—including personal goal setting, organization of learning materials


•self-awareness—including seeking out positive criticism, reflecting on areas of perceived limitation

•self-evaluation—including the keeping of learning journals and portfolios, reflecting at different stages in the learning process


•generating ideas—including the use of brainstorming

•planning—including storyboarding and outlining a plan

•inquiring—including questioning and challenging information and arguments, developing questions, using the inquiry cycle

•applying knowledge and concepts— including logical progression of arguments

•identifying problems—including deductive reasoning, evaluating solutions to problems

•creating novel solutions—including the combination of critical and creative strategies, considering a problem from multiple perspectives

Key words: Pattern, Tessellation, Motif, Print, Repetition, Positive Space, Negative Space, Softoleum


Task Specific Clarification here.


*Activities are subject to change at teacher's discretion.

Week 1: Intro to Positive and Negative Space

Explain overview of unit. Distribute cover sheet.

The cover sheet may also be downloaded from here: MYP Art Gr6U3 Cover Sheet-Printing.pdf


Class brainstorm/discussion: What is a pattern? Why do we decorate? Students should record answers in developmental workbooks.


Activity 1:

In groups, discuss the following and be prepared to present your answers to the class (10-15mins):

  • What is a pattern?
  • Where do we find patterns?
  • What are the functions of a pattern?
  • When, why and/or how do we use patterns?
  • What makes a pattern successful? 


Activity 2:

Can you see the difference between these two examples of patterns?

"What is positive and negative space?"

Which picture below shows us positive space space and which one shows negative space? Explain why.


Activity 3: Notan Design


Homework: Complete Notan Design (Required)


Week 2 - Patterns

Activity 1 - Brainstorm in small groups: What is printing used for?


Activity 2 - Who was William Morris? 

Look at his design work here 


Activity 3 - Pattern Techniques:


Activity 4 - Pattern Investigations:

Half the class look at various World Pattern and Designs online below.

The other half view examples from the various pattern books available in class. (Groups may switch)

When looking at various patterns, pay attention to interlocking patterns, positive/negative space, repetition and motifs.

In your sketchbooks, note any interesting or attractive designs or techniques you come across either via text or through sketching. You will use this information when it comes to planning your design in week 5.

Also look at the work of Johanna Basford for further inspiration. Her work is excellent and should appeal to several students.


You can even take inspiration from Japanese paper cuts:


Homework: Continue pattern investigations (Required) 


Week 3 - Experimenting with Designs

Looking at Patterns:

In your sketchbooks,

1. Trace or draw 3 areas from 3 different patterns. Use only line (do not colour in).
2. Using one tone of shading, make one pattern using negative space and the other positive.

Below is a poor example of the above pattern task. The same pattern was used for the activity. You DO NOT need to use the same pattern.

Picture 1: The Pattern

Picture 2: The Pattern with Positive Space

Picture 3: The Pattern with Negative Space


Extension: Try combining the two


Here is another example by artist Victor Vasarely on the difference between positive and negative space:



Homework: Continue and complete the activity done in class. (Required)


Week 4: Planning

Discuss: How might we best plan on how to create a pattern?

Significant Concept: Positive and negative space can be used to create patterns, motifs and designs.


Can you take inspiration from nature, a hobby, line work, a doodle, culture?

You will need to show evidence of your planning process!

View previous student work for examples. Which ones were done well and why?

Pay attention to interlocking patterns, positive/negative space, repetition and motifs. Remember, you are NOT creating a picture, you are creating a design!


View previous student work:


Create possible plans/sketches for your print design. Your first plan may not be best. Think of how it can be improved. When ready and improvements have been made, take a piece of softoleum and trace the shape into your sketchbook. Next, work to create your design as accurately as possible and decide on the positive and negative space in your sketchbook. Make sure the opposite side of the page is completely blank.

NOTE: small fine details may be difficult to transfer to the softoleum due to the thickness of the carving tools. You SHOULD take this into consideration.


Review Rubric


Homework: Continue working on plans


Week 5: Semi-final Planning cont'd

Students should share plans in small groups to receive feedback and make any necessary adjustments. Feedback notes should be recorded in development workbooks.

Students may continue developing a plans/draft. At this stage, this does not have to be perfectly accurate. This will be done in the next class.


Homework: Complete semi-final plan. (Required)


Week 6: Transfers & Carving

Students should complete their final plan. Graph paper may prove useful for this. Trace the shape of the softoleum on your paper.


Students should trace their plans on the other side of their sheet against the window with a 2B or 4B pencil. With pencil lead on the opposite side of their sheet, students can then lay this sheet on the softoleum and again trace over the lines to transfer the lead onto the softoleum.


Students begin carving their blocks to print.

View "Relief Printmaking Process video" below. http://youtu.be/O0skLwaFpn0


Homework: Students are encouraged to visit the art room after school or during lunch to work on their carving as the tools cannot be taken home with 3 classes sharing. (Required)

Week 7 and 8: Carving & Printing

Students begin printing using black ink only. Teacher to demo.

When a practice sheet is done, students can move onto various coloured inks and coloured paper. Students should consider how the ink colour and paper colour match and attempts should be made to use various colours as opposed to making several prints of the same colour. This will lead to a greater variety when assembling the final arrangement.


Extension: If students get ahead, they may experiment with overlapping prints, offsetting and colour blending.


Homework: none 


Week 9: Arranging

Students may select their best 4-8 prints and create an attractive arrangement and mount them onto black paper. Can the prints be rotated or arranged differently to create an interesting final product? Equal borders should also be created around the arrangement. Students may decide if they wish to leave space between the prints or not.


Homework: Students should complete their arrangements. (Required) 


Week 10: Reflection

Students present and reflect on their work (via VoiceThread) and critique 2-3 other students. The teacher will set this up and demonstrate it in class.


For your piece, please discuss the following:
1. Describe the design of your print.
2. Describe how you created your design and what shapes, patterns or inspirations were used.
3. Describe the difficulties you had in this project.
4. What do you think you have learned, or improved on?
5. If you had to repeat this project, what would you improve on, do differently and why?


When critiquing a peer, offer constructive criticism commenting on the design, the use of positive and negative space, motifs, the use of colour and/or the arrangement.


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