Loading Images
Approach: Independent Level: Year 4 and year 8
Focus: Students can produce an expressive coloured pastel drawing based on an imaginative idea
Resources:Video recording on laptop computer; 4 sets of 12 oil pastels; 4 sheets A3 grey sugar paper; cardboard bases; 4 A1 Polythene desk covers
Time:20 mins  

[Continuous video of flame,
behind changing text of poem.]

video voiceover:
Up there is the fireghost in its mountain home.
It’s big, it’s powerful, and it’s all alone.
This is a fearsome, fearsome fireghost –
You will see!
It gobbles wood as it creeps and roams.
It scorches the ground and reddens the stones.
It’s a hungry, hungry fireghost –
You will see!
Its creeping fingers are growing and growing,
Its wispy hair is blowing and blowing.
This is a wild, wild fireghost –
You will see!
Its glowing eyes and smearing hands
Throw bright and burning sparks across the land.
It’s a crackling, sparkling fireghost –
You will see!

This activity uses the computer.
On each student’s table place a sheet of grey sugar paper on a cardboard under-surface, and a set of 12 pastels.

In this activity you are going to make a picture of a Fireghost using pastels. To help you think about ideas for your picture, we’ll begin by listening to a recording of a poem about the Fireghost.

Click the Fireghost button.

Try to use the pastels in ways that make your colours and shapes bright, bold and colourful. You can get different effects in your colours and shapes by using the pastels on top of each other. You can blend, mix rub and smudge different colours in all sorts of interesting ways.
Remember, you are going to make a picture of a fireghost. Try to draw it so that it’s like the fireghost that was described in the poem.
We’ll watch the video again, then you can start your drawing.

Click the Fireghost button.

Try to make your fireghost really big, and use most of your paper. You need to work quite quickly on your drawing to do as much as you can in 20 minutes.
You can start now.

After 15 minutes of drawing time.

You have five minutes left for your drawing. Use all of your time to make a bright, bold and colourful drawing.

% responses
2007 ('03)
[Image appropriate to task (big, wild, all
alone fireghost); strength, vitality and colour;

highly developed
4 (5)
9 (8)
moderately developed
25 (19)
36 (30)
slightly developed
51 (55)
44 (45)
under developed
20 (21)
12 (18)
[Use of whole pictorial space; appropriate context; arrangement of images - balance.]
highly developed
5 (8)
11 (10)
moderately developed
30 (25)
38 (30)
slightly developed
49 (49)
42 (47)
under developed
16 (18)
9 (13)
[Finer details included (e.g. creeping fingers, wispy hair, glowing eyes, scorching/reddening)

highly developed
1 (4)
6 (0)
moderately developed
17 (18)
27 (23)
slightly developed
52 (47)
47 (47)
under developed
30 (31)
20 (30)
Use of media:
[Technical control of pastel media
to achieve a range of mark making.]

highly developed
2 (5)
6 (4)
moderately developed
14 (19)
31 (25)
slightly developed
56 (54)
50 (50)
under developed
29 (22)
14 (22)
Global rating:
0 (1)
1 (1)
very good
3 (4)
10 (10)
11 (13)
22 (17)
30 (30)
33 (26)
42 (37)
30 (41)
very poor
14 (16)
5 (5)

Total score:
5 (7)
14 (13)
14 (14)
23 (19)
28 (29)
28 (21)
37 (30)
26 (35)
16 (21)
8 (12)
Subgroup Analysis [Click on charts to enlarge] :
Year 4

Year 8

Creating a “fireghost” based on an evocative poem proved difficult for the year 4 students, but year 8 students were more successful on the task. The use of pastels was troublesome for students in both years, with most students getting marks of “under developed” or “slightly developed”. Students also had difficulty in communicating fine details in their works. They were stronger at the overall composition and the expressiveness of their drawings. Peformance in 2007 was very similar to performance in 2003.

FIREGHOST EXEMPLARS [click on pictures to enlarge]
[Note that some images have been digitally enhanced to ensure clarity of image and therefore meaningful reproduction]

Loading Images
High Range:
Year 4
Year 4
Year 8
Year 8

When encouraging artwork from imagination, it is important that the language used evokes a range of sensory responses. The fireghost poem evokes emotions, sights, tactile and kinaesthetic memories; fear and power, hunger and stealth, “glowing eyes” and “smearing hands”. In this high-end sample, aspects of these have been built upon and developed into personal imagery. The medium of pastel, too, plays its part through possibilities for indicating “glowing”, movement gestures, and range and density of colours. These students moved beyond the suggestion of a flame to bring a more defined form that still suggests the power and elusiveness of fire.

Loading Images
Mid Range:
Year 4
Year 4
Year 8
Year 8

Artwork at mid range is dominated by the use of a limited red-orange palette to depict fire. Some students did reach outside the predictable for contrasting colours. Static forms that are not strongly evocative, along with images that tend to be fragmented or stationary are typical of performance at this level.

Loading Images
Low Range:
Year 4
Year 4
Year 8
Year 8

The context of fire is alluded to. Additionally there are eyes or simple ghost-like conventional forms in some works. The use of the media is tentative and usually does not explore a range of marks, colour mixing or pressure.

Loading Images