January 18, 2013

Transfer Technique for Map Drawing

map transfer
Yesterday we began our studies of the Latin American revolutions with a look at the rebellion that freed the slaves of the western side of the island of Hispaniola from French domination, resulting in the very first black republic - Haiti.  This was the most uplifting story we've studied for a while and the kids were totally into it.  Then, of course, smarty pants Hannah Jane had to mention what utter poverty the people of Haiti are currently living in.  I have no idea if Haitians have ever lived in prosperity, but this started us talking about what freedom really means, in that larger, more meaningful sense, and how freedom as a nation only works well when there's a stable and just government ready to roll in on the heels of the overthrow of tyranny.

Anyhoo, while enthusiasm was high, it seemed like the time to start bringing art and geography and history together with some notebooking and map drawing.  We tried free-handing maps of the island of Hispaniola, but that was less that impressive.  So after lunch I decided that I'd spend our art time teaching the kids how to make transfers and we'd make a killer map with our new skill.

Here's how ya do it:

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1.  Print out an outline map of the region you want to draw.

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2.  Cover the back of the picture with some transferable color.  My favorite transfer medium is oil pastel because it just seems to want to transfer even when you don't want it to.  But you can use crayon or even regular pencil on the back of the image if that's what you have on hand.

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3.  Place the image right side up on top of the paper you want to transfer it on to and either secure it with masking tape or hold it very carefully.  If it moves during the transfer process, you'll just have a big old confusing mess on your hands.

4.  Carefully trace over all of the lines that you want transferred with a pencil or pen, pressing a little harder than you normally would for standard writing.

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5.  Once you've traced everything you want transferred, lift up the original print and check out your awesome outline!

SAM_2956 Once we had our nice outlines, the kids went back in and colored over rivers and lakes with blue, lightly filled in around the edges with a lighter green, the middle with a darker green, and worked on blending the two.  And then they added a little haze of blue around the edges to indicate water.

map making We made notes around the map and drew national boundaries and occupying countries and such.  They turned out quite nicely.

SAM_2959 The kids thought the transfer process was a bit tedious, but when they gazed at their end product, they felt quite proud of themselves!  These turned out so great that I'm pretty sure they will now be a regular addition to our history studies.

Alright!  We're off to science club!  Happy Friday!

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