This is a line & pattern project I've used when I needed a Substitute teacher at school. I've used it with Grades 6-8. It uses minimal materials and it's very easy for anyone to explain, plus, the kids LOVE doing this project. Having been a Substitute teacher before, I know I really appreciated it when the teacher left a straighforward yet interesting lesson that kept the kids engaged. This is one of those.
I originally saw this on the Artsonia website here, on the Hillcrest Christian High School site, but I've also seen it around the web, so whomever originated this project- thank you!
So students start off by drawing a border around their paper (I used large paper here) with a black marker.
Then they start by filling the page with doodles: lines and patterns. They can have some objects, but I encourage them to keep it fairly abstract. I also tell them no numbers or words or logos. Encourage a wide variety of lines: thick, thin, wavy, straight, etc. I keep a large laminated photocopy of a variety of lines and patterns posted on my whiteboard for kids to refer to if they need extra ideas.
Keep going until your page is filled. This took about 3 classes maybe? Warning: have a large supply of black markers, because mine dried out SUPER fast (although I think it might have been the 'absorbant' paper I chose...). Either way, it was really frustrating for my poor kids when the markers started dying on them. Thinner paper would work better for this project, I think; just protect your tables with newspaper (if you want) as the markers go through.
Ok- nice and filled in and dense.
Then, using a compass or plastic lids, students trace a circle (or two) somewhere onto their design where they want the focal point to be. Some kids get really stressed at this stage and I hear lots of "Miss, where should I put my circle?" I just tell them to throw one anywhere that's not in the middle- choose their favourite area to be the focal point.
Then colour in the circle with markers.
Here are some Grade 7 results.