Edge, Middle, Frames, and Borders

This is a quick assignment for the lower grades that teaches some basic concepts, it speaks towards the ODE standard: 3PR Discover, select and combine art and design elements to communicate subject matter in various visual forms and 4PE Identify and point out visual art and design elements and principles in their own artworks and in those of others using art vocabulary.

The above words are direct from the ODE Visual Arts Standards

But basically I’m teaching a design project that is intended to teach the concept of edge, middle, frames and borders, with some aesthetic considerations.

This is K child who has created a border/frame design intended to teach the words mentioned above.  I’m not promising they will remember the words and concepts tomorrow, but it’s a start. As one of those value-added concepts I integrated into the lesson I had all the students tell me the first sound of the word “middle” and then write the corresponding letter.  I’m also certified K-12 reading, so it’s hard not to add this sort of thing when I see the opportunity.

I quickly matted one up for the wall outside the classroom.  This is an example of a first grader’s work.

A kindergarten piece demonstrating his knowledge of the vocabulary words and concepts.

The kindergarten students may lack the motor skills to do a highly finished project but they can complete work showing their understanding.

A class departing with their work.  I could not get one of them to leave a piece behind to hang up!

Here’s a shot of one in progress.

She did a great job!  Frame, border, edge, and middle, she knew all the words I was shooting for.

Another shot of the above one, cropped and flat, a little nicer looking graphically but lacking her infectious smile.

She looks as happy as I was at seeing the results.

Another good example of the project with another beautifully, beaming face.

Manny did a great job here, nice to see the finished product.

Lots of variations are possible with the frame/edge concept.  Here I instructed students to make circles around the edge to make the frame.  Still trying to make sure they understand the concepts.

You can have them write the words, do a project intended to illustrate what you are trying to teach, and still not really have it absorbed into their vocabulary and skill sets, so you just make sure to mention it again and go over it again when they come back for the next class.


All of the above is done in the art room, at Believe to Achieve Academy in Canton, Ohio.  The principal is Ms. L. Henry, the art teacher is Mr. Tayse.


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