Visual Pun Fun

Grade 7/8:  Illustrating a Pun



This lesson was one of the first in the year, and so was a kind of warm-up for the class.  It is a large mixed-grade class, and there are challenges because of it.  I have been doing art with most of them for 6 years now, and  so I hope to build on that with more ambitious projects this year.

To start, we brainstormed a list of words and clauses that could be rendered as visual puns.  They could choose something from that list or their own idea, and then find a way to speak/illustrate the pun using only visuals and no words.  I suggested they use pencil crayon drawing and collage images cut from magazines.  If they were to use the latter, there would need to be some drawn portions as well.  They were allowed to bring in Netbooks to find photographs to draw from.

I tried to encourage them to go beyond quick cartoon-like drawing; to use some of the techniques and ideas of composition from the previous year.  With one or two notable exceptions, I was disappointed to see that many were not willing to put that extra effort in.  Perhaps the comic ideas of their puns did not warrant such serious application. Still, I think they gained some amusement from one another’s puns…

Can you guess the puns?  Here’s a few to whet your whistle …

dragonfly                         hotseat                      swimming pool

musical chairs                 cloud nine                elephant trunk

nightmare                        ladybug                     birdbrain

(PS.  On display in the hallway, the work solicited quite a bit of conversation, as groups of other students and staff tried to guess the puns.  I liked that!)

Fall 2013 / Parliament Oak School

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