The main purpose of this unit is to introduce pupils to how they can develop design ideas from an unusual stimulus.
In this project children will produce design ideas for a length of fabric based upon the colour and patterns of the skin of a reptile or the markings of an animal or bird. The unit begins with the children taking pattern ideas from pictures of animals, reptiles or birds to orientate them to the task. This is followed up if possible by work from 'life' preferably in a zoo, but failing that, a museum.
At an appropriate time introduce the idea of formal design and stylisation. Examples might include the ways in which designers and makers have worked from plants and other natural forms (William Morris is an obvious example here, but there are many more). If Morris (or C. F. A. Voisey) are used, this will offer a useful introduction to the idea of repeat pattern in arts and crafts. Also, pupils can research the work of contemporary artists and designers who use nature and animal patterns, for example Oral Kiely and Bisa Butler.
There are a number of units written especially with younger pupils in mind that explore repeating patterns and pattern in design. For example see 'repeating patterns', 'designing a pattern' and 'pattern and design'.