Waxing miracle

3rd December 2004 at 00:00
Year 6 pupils used a fascinating website to explore patterns in nature and develop a multimedia project. Giles Hughes reports

You can spend hours looking at the huge variety of images at Ian Alexander's natural patterns library. The website provides close-up views of bark and leaf patterns, alongside detailed sections of alligator and armadillo skin. Obscure patterns made by water droplets and cracks in dried riverbeds capture the imagination and fire your curiosity.

My class loved this site, and the children used it to choose and print a favourite image on which to base their work. Small sections of the patterns were sketched and modified, and then drawn onto paper using batik wax.

Pupils used marbling inks to apply a rich, textured ground to the paper before picking out features of the pattern in drawing inks.

The batik wax was ironed out to reveal the original pattern. The pieces were highly textured at this point, and the patterns lacked structure and form.

White poster paint was then used to enhance the pattern by blocking out areas of each piece. Finally, more detail was added to carefully selected areas using watercolour pencils.

Some of the children's completed work was stunning, and this activity showed the potential for using computers alongside traditional media.

* http:easyweb.easynet.co.ukianypatterns patterns.htm

Giles Hughes teaches at Colmore Junior School, Birmingham

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now