3rd grade has just completed their landscape genre project which focused on background, middleground, and foreground. To make understanding of the different spaces very literal, I thought it would be fun to physically separate them and make a pop-up landscape. We started with a map to cover a foundation piece of chipboard, and used the roads and boundaries within the map to inspire a horizon line for the background of a landscape. Students then created a middleground layer from construction paper, and then foreground elements. To emphasize a sense of space, students were encouraged to draw things tiny in the background and large in the foreground. They were also challenged to make something happen in their landscapes like Grant Wood did in "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere", one of the paintings we looked at for inspiration.
Another favorite landscape was the EXPLODING VOLCANO. About half my boys did a version like this, many of which included screaming villagers fleeing from the lava. (Could it be that they remember my Pompeii story from when we did mosaics? Dream on Art teacher)