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A Juneau School District Elementary Art Activity Kit

This lesson was designed by Heather K Ridgway using the MCC Framework LAYOUT DESIGN Page of 6

Balancing Contrast with Harmony
for Unity
Gr. 5 Time: 1 hr. 30 mins.

x Rhythm/movement
x Balance
x Unity
x Emphasis

x Line
x Color

Language Arts
communication, media
Math square angles
Color Scheme Unity
Contrast Focal Point
Harmony Mount
Placement Square
Eyeball it Border

Students will
- Look for specific elements and principles of art in posters and other layout designs
- Recognize the power of lines and colors in effective media communication
- Use a triangle and straight edge to find and trace a 90; line up placement squarely
- Consider how art communicates ideas
- Use art vocabulary to talk about art

Students select a color-
scheme in construction paper.
Using pre-cut images, text,
and titles students mount
them squarely for borders,
and arrange them for effective

2 Professional layout
example posters

2 comparative
examples of student layout

1 CONTRAST poster
1 HARMONY poster
1 UNITY poster

Teaching Parts envelope
- 1 background paper
- 1 image
- 3 mounted images
- 2 mounted textboxes
- 1 mounted font (title)

10 triangles
16 color wheels
1 pkg of title fonts masters (8)
1 poster examination list
1 lesson plan +
master lesson labels
1 roll of masking tape
Per Student -
1 pair of scissors
1 glue stick
1 pencil
1 ruler
2 images
(magazine cut-outs, or digital
images printed)
2 text boxes (same as images)
1 (12x18) background paper
Variety color constrct paper
in various sizes
PREPARE to Encounter (ALSO See PREPARE to Engage, later in lesson plan):
! All kit visuals are ready to display
! Teaching parts envelope, a triangle, a straight edge, and a color wheel are on hand
for demonstration
! Color wheels and triangles are evenly distributed for shared student use (save 1 for demo)
! Background paper and border paper are stationed for easy student selection

A Juneau School District Elementary Art Activity Kit
This lesson was designed by Heather K Ridgway using the MCC Framework LAYOUT DESIGN Page of 6

Introduce Arts Career: Layout Artist
A layout artist!s job is to arrange the information they are given (writing from writers and images from
photographers and other artists), in such a way that it catches their viewer!s eye and moves it around the page
so the viewer gets all the information the layout artist is supposed to communicate.

ASK: Where do we see the work of a layout artist? (Newspaper, magazine, web-pages)
Brainstorm: What is an informative display? Where do we see them?
Textbooks, health posters, announcements for workshops...
Relevance: Students do displays like this about books they!ve read and things they!ve studied.
(Science Fair?) In middle school, you will use layout skills in posters. Even advertisements are often
laid-out as informative displays
ASK: What are some of the artistic decisions a layout artist makes?
Colors, borders, placement (placement has a lot to do with lines of movement for the eye)
Introduce color wheels
What do we know about color? How does the color wheel help us see color relationships better
- Colors next to one another on the color wheel are Harmonious they go smoothly together.
- Colors across from each other on the color wheel are Complimentary they clash a bit, and go

Share professional Go Fish posters:
The Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute wanted more people to know about how great the state of Alaska is.
They made a poster featuring many of the unusually BIG things in Alaska. They also made one featuring young
Alaskans whose lives make this state so interesting. How did the Alaska Seafood marketing Institute make
theses posters?
After their writers wrote everything to be put into text, they hired an artist to draw and paint illustrations. Then,
another artist was hired, a Layout Artist, to decide how to put it together as an effective poster, to catch the eye
of the viewer and hold it long enough to communicate all of the information.
Color decisions:
" What are some of the color decisions this layout artist put into effect?
" Where did they use harmonious colors? Where did they use complimentary colors?
" What effect do those decisions have as you look at the posters?

ENCOUNTER: Students look for artistic decisions in the field of Lay-out art.

Notice how the poster on
the left has a blue, red and
purple border Very
harmonious the yellow
in the middle of the boat
catches our eye because it
is complimentary to all of
the purple
Most of this poster is blue, yellow and green
Very harmonious. The Red/Orange crab strongly
contrasts in color, AND in line direction There is
orange in the Go-Fish sign too, so our eye is
drawn diagonally across the whole poster.
Effective artistic color choice:
A good Layout artist knows that complimentary
colors are very powerful. They are careful to use
them only for specific effects, and they balance that
contrast with lots of harmony everywhere else.

A Juneau School District Elementary Art Activity Kit
This lesson was designed by Heather K Ridgway using the MCC Framework LAYOUT DESIGN Page of 6

Introduce lining things up PLACEMENT

Start with straight-edge and triangle:
1.) Find the right-angle on the triangle.
2.) Hold it in the corner of a poster the poster has square angels on all sides.
3.) Use the straight edge, lined up with the side, or top, of the poster so the triangle slides along the straightedge,
creating a perpendicular line with the poster!s edge Note most text, borders, and images are in alignment
with the square corners of the posters edges.

Vertical and horizontal lines are very stable. Diagonal lines affect movement. Perpendicular lines are the most
harmonious line combination. It makes the viewer feel stable and trusting of the information in the poster.
Diagonal lines capture our attention and seem exciting. A layout artist must balance this harmony and this
contrast for maximum effect.

ASK: Where in these posters, did the layout artist choose to change an angle, or the arrangement of things
involving borders and how things line up, to catch our attention?
The Go Fish sign is the title Because it is at a different angle, it catches our eye right away, as a title should.
ASK: Where is there another Title on the posters? (Big Deal and Last Frontier)
How can you tell? Size the titles are larger a different SIZE is also a type of contrast; it catches our eye.

Share the interactive Contrast Poster and Harmony Poster
Learn the definitions of Contrast and Harmony, learn about different kinds of contrast and
harmony often used by a Layout artists, while revealing the parts of the posters and looking for
examples of each in the professional layouts above.
Compare the two student layout examples, using the vocabulary from the Harmony and Contrast

When it is apparent from student involvement and response that the class has a good sense of the
effects of contrast and harmony, share the UNITY poster.
Distracting from the target information with too much contrast is a young layout artist!s biggest mistake!
Distraction is your enemy use lots of HARMONY for UNITY.
Be sparse, and intentional with your use of CONTRAST.

Use the Teaching Parts in the envelope with a straightedge and square to demonstrate making
these decisions and using these tools.
Model choosing effective colors together A Color Scheme

A Juneau School District Elementary Art Activity Kit
This lesson was designed by Heather K Ridgway using the MCC Framework LAYOUT DESIGN Page of 6

Contrast with Complimentary Colors:
1.) Start with the blue background horizontal.
2.) Hold up the orange-bordered image, flipped over against the blue.
Dramatize Complimentary Colors (a neumonic):
Orange square looks at Blue and says, Goodness, you!re looking Very blue today!
Than you, Orange says Blue. I do declare, you are the orangest orange I have ever seen!
Because orange and blue do not share any colors in their make-up, they cause one another look even more
intense than we might see them on their own. They compliment one another make each other look stronger.

Sometimes we can draw more attention to our images with contrast
Flip the orange-bordered image over so we can see the photo
Complimentary colors give a lot of contrastIS this too much contrast?
Hold up the Dark green-bordered image against the blue, alongside the orange-bordered image, and compare.
Which border makes the image look strongest The orange or the green?
The orange is an example of too much color contrast - it!s distracting form the picture; the green works better.

Contrast with different Angles and Lines in placement:
Model placement for Harmony: Model adjusting for Contrast:

Model mounting and cutting for a square border:
Use the last image from the teaching parts envelope.
1.) Select your color scheme
2.) Take your image + blue background to the varied construction paper
Share your thoughts out-loud as you choose your border color.
3.) Check with your triangle to see if you already have any square angles you can use
(machine cut paper gives you at least one square corner for free)

4.) Students help you eye-ball your image into that square corner, saving " inch or less for your border.

That!s it!
We eye-ball it
until it looks
too much to the Left too much to the Right.. just right.

5.) At this point, students will GLUE their image into the corner of their border paper. (tape yours)
6.) Tape your ruler so it is evenly running along one clean edge of your border paper.

A Juneau School District Elementary Art Activity Kit
This lesson was designed by Heather K Ridgway using the MCC Framework LAYOUT DESIGN Page of 6

(Mounting and Cutting for a Square Border continued)

7.) Use the straight edge to find the perpendicular vertical and horizontal sides and lightly trace the lines
with a pencil; Eyeball an even frame around your image.
***Emphasize the kinetic sensation of the edge of the paper and the triangle clicking into place against the ruler.

Using a straight edge and triangle to get perpendicular lines will be a challenge for most. There are only 10
triangles so students will help each other with this process.

Now that you!ve demonstrated selecting a color scheme, mounting and cutting square borders, and
considering placement for greatest effect, students are ready to try it on their own.

(Many students will wish to move their bordered text boxes and images around after mounting them all squarely,
and they will not anticipate this in advance, given the opportunity to glue-down during the process.)

PREPARE to Engage:
Copy and cut lesson labels for each student
Each student should have at least:
2 images
2 text boxes
1 title printed in a chosen font
Should you choose to create nonsense displays
-Copy set of title font masters one time
-Students collect magazine images and text clippings
Should you choose to create factual displays
Students must have their finished text, images and titles printed and trimmed
Provide a wide variety of colored construction paper (warm cool, dark, light)
! 18x12 background paper (at least enough for each student Double for choices
! 9x12 and smaller for borders behind text and images plenty for everyone.

A Juneau School District Elementary Art Activity Kit
This lesson was designed by Heather K Ridgway using the MCC Framework LAYOUT DESIGN Page of 6

1.) Students choose a color scheme, taking their images and their background color with them
to help them choose knowledgably:
o What color background will you have?
o What color borders will work with your images and your background for maximum eye-catching,
and eye holding effect?
o Stick to a simple color scheme 2 or 3 colors at the most for unity.
Remember, 2 values of the same color is a very harmonious color scheme;
you can get your contrast in the differences of light and dark.
2.) Students eyeball their images and textboxes into a square corner of their selected border paper, gluing it
down when it!s just right, with an even frame.
3.) Students use a triangle and a straightedge (ruler) to find the other perpendicular vertical and horizontal edges
of their border, marking them lightly with a pencil and trimming them with scissors.
4.) Students arrange their mounted textboxes and images on their background paper, considering harmonious
and contrasting effects in placement:
o Can you line everything up squarely?
o What might you change for placement contrast?

5.) Upon instructor approval, Students glue down all of their text boxes, images and other embellishments.
6.) Students put a lesson label on the back of their work and sign it.

Refer to the Contrast and Harmony posters for vocabulary refreshment. Encourage student use of art vocabulary.

Look for choices made by your peers that you admire and comment on it.
Share a decision you made in your display lay-out that you enjoyed.

Consider ideas of color scheme influenced by the subject of your display: Volcanoes might use Warm colors
Ice-bergs might use Cool colors
Where are warm colors in relationship to eachother on the color wheel?
cool colors

Point to a an area of contrast in your own /a peer!s work.
What kind of contrast is it?
Point to an area of harmony in your own /a peer!s work.
What kind of Contrast is it?
Find an example of a work with fine unity How did the artist achieve such unity?
What was the most challenging part of this assignment for you?
How would you help a friend who was new to display lay-out artwork? What kind of advice would you give them?
What were the tools we used to get square angles in our borders? Can you explain how this works?
What does it mean to eyeball something when we!re doing layout art?
What are some things an layout artist can do to catch your eye?
How can a layout artist hold your attention on the display and lead your eye all around it?
What!s the most difficult thing to avoid for young display artists? (too much contrast =DISTRACTION)
ENGAGE: Students choose a color scheme, mount their images and texts onto square-cut
borders, and consider placement, creating an eye-catching display that holds our attention.
REFELCT: Students examine their own and their peers work, looking for the use of artistic
decisions made by a Layout Artist.