3D Perspective Drawing

Today's lesson with Year 7 looked at front, side and top perspective drawings of 3D shapes. The moment of inspiration hit me when I woke up this morning (which is an improvement over the more common 10 minutes before the lesson starts), but I decided I wanted students to create their own perspective drawings using their imaginations, then turn them into 3D themselves.

This is a lesson in three parts:

Task 1: Warm-up practice

I expected that my students had seen drawings like this before, but I was unsure how confident they would be. So, I gave each pair of students an arrangement of blocks to draw from the three perspectives.

I had one colleague comment in the morning that it was nice to see me playing with my toy blocks...

Happily, they found this pretty straight forward. Some students finished quickly, so I had them swap their block with another pair so they could draw another object.

Task 2: Drawing perspectives

I asked students to imagine their own 3D object made from cubes, then draw front, side and top perspectives of it. To give them an idea of the type of object they could create, I showed them this image:

That is a green car I created very quickly this morning before school. Not, as some students claimed, two trees next to each other...

It was interesting to see the way different students approached this. Some immediately had a creative idea, and were very carefully plotting out squares on their grid paper. Others got more excited about drawing the picture they wanted, but didn't worry so much about making sure their shapes stayed within the grid pattern. And still others just wanted to finish the task and thought a square would be good enough.

Task 3: Creating 3D shapes

This morning I looked for a website that I students could use to create their shapes easily. After trying a few sites, I found Voxel Builder.

My idea was that I wouldn't have to tell students if their perspective drawings were correct. They should be able to move their own 3D model to the different perspectives and see if they matched what they had drawn. If they didn't, then something needs to be fixed with either the drawings or the model, or both.

I haven't had much chance to explore Voxel Builder, but it seems to have some pretty neat features, including exporting to 3D printers, printing 2D templates for 3D paper models, and animation.

I had my kids export images of their creations. Here are some of them:

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Shaun used to be maths, IT and ocassional physics teacher at a small P-12 school (primary and secondary) in rural Victoria, Australia. He is currently in the process of starting his career again in the United States.

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