Taj Mahal: Shape, Symmetry, Reflection

I attended a workshop on Friday that was sponsored by Sargent Art. The actual workshop was part of the Mississippi Whole Schools Initiative's Winter Retreat. I love the Whole Schools Initiative. I blog about it frequently. So, make sure to keep your eyes open for other mentions.

The workshop that I attended on the Taj Mahal was great. The artwork was pretty easy to create. The whole time I was there, I was thinking how perfect this project is for regular education teachers to integrate into their classrooms. 

Here is the image that I created at the workshop.

I did a little research and found some resources on the Taj Mahal. 

Here is a pretty detailed video on how to draw it. You could take out some of the more detailed steps for younger students. Another idea would be to have basic shape templates cut out for younger students to trace.

Actual photo of the Taj Mahal from Khan Academy site. 

The actual steps from the art lesson are to fold a piece of paper in half. Draw the building on the top half with a pencil. Fold the paper back together and rub the outside of the paper until the pencil lines from the drawing transfer to the other half of the paper. This gives the impression of the reflection in the pool at the Taj Mahal.

Then, trace the first drawing with a black marker or crayon. I used a crayon. Trace the transferred drawing with a washable blue marker. Add color to the background of the original drawing with crayons or paint (or whatever you prefer).

Finally, use blue liquid watercolor paint to paint over the entire bottom half of the paper where the transferred image is. Paint on top of the marker. 

I could not locate the Sargent Art lesson plan online. It is possible that it is because I worked on this post at a restaurant and didn't have great Wi-Fi. However, I heard it is online. If I run across it in the future, I'll link it.

I took photos of the lesson plan we were given in the workshop. I thought it was important to share those because there is an image of how to use the scissors handles to rub the paper to create the transfer. Here are those.

The final bit of info that I wanted to share about this lesson is that it can be arts integrated with math by talking about symmetry, shapes, and reflection. The students could also measure the shapes to find area, etc. To integrate it with language arts, students can write about the process of creating the artwork in a procedural piece. They could also write an informational piece about the Taj Mahal. They could write an opinion piece about their artwork. They can write an acrostic poem with TAJ MAHAL. 

What ideas do you have for integrating this project into the regular curriculum? Let me know!

P.S. I have to give props to my friend Amanda Cashman for doing an excellent job of teaching the workshop for this lesson at the retreat. She is rockstar of an art teacher. I aspire to be like her!