Quincy the Robot Artist - Learning Ideas
By now, many of you have received your Quincy the Robot Artist in the mail. We had ours for just over a month before we setup PenPalBots at the end of April 2020 and would like to share some tips and ideas to help you get the most out of Quincy.
A lot depends on the setting in which Quincy the Artist Robot will be used. Are you a parent, a caregiver, teacher or just a robotics or gadget fan? Quincy is great on many levels and even looks good as an ornament sitting on your desk with her big friendly eye and outstretched arms.
My daughter went through a phase where she put a number of different things into the pen holder; a flower, lollipop, paintbrush, toothbrush and more. It was funny to see Quincy going through a drawing program holding onto a helium balloon!
But on a more serious note, here are some ways that I've used Quincy, both at home and in my job as a teacher.
1. Drawing lessons
This is the most immediate and obvious use of Quincy the Robot Artist, and the easiest to set up and start. Simply turn it on, choose a card, scan the card and start following along. My 7 year old daughter quickly went through all of the included cards and then enjoyed mixing and matching different drawings on an oversized sketchbook by moving Quincy to different positions on the page.
After a week or so of following the drawing prompts, she could confidently draw her own versions of the simple Quincy art, and enjoyed following along with the prompts but adding more detailed eyes, hair and other details.
The spelling segment of each art card is also a great learning tool, and her letter recognition ability has improved dramatically over the last month or so!
2. Reward system
This is a great process to use in a class environment or as part of a larger activity, such as a school project or homework assignment. After certain steps are completed, the student(s) are allowed to press the 'next' button and see what the next step in the drawing looks like.
This routine works VERY well for my online classes, and I have a second camera mounted above my drawing desk where I have Quincy the Robot Artist setup. At key points through the lesson I'll swicth the camera over to the 'Quincy cam' and then show the next step in the drawing program. The students follow along at home and have a completed drawing by the end of the class.
This works even better when the drawing is related to the lesson material!
3. Quiz game
This is another favourite routine of mine and works really well in a physical classroom setting.
Have a series of questions ready and the student who answers correctly gets to click on the 'next step' button and then draw the step on the whiteboard at the front of the classroom. Then the other students in class follow along with the drawing.
At the end of the quiz you can have an art show and choose the best drawings.
4. Writing prompts
I use this routine in my online and offline classes and it works great! Choose a card and go through the drawing sequence as a warm up activity. Most of the drawing programs are around 3-4 minutes long, so it's the perfect duration for a class introduction.
Once the drawing is complete, you can use it as a writing or speaking prompt. I have done this with online students aged 7 to 12 with great success, and some of the results have been very creative.
For example, you can draw the monkey program and then write a short story about the monkey. Where does he live? What's his name? What does he like to eat? For older students you can give them free reign to write their own story and see what results you get!
5. Art inspiration
If you teach art, you can use the Quincy art lessons as the basis for a larger project, such as a mural or mosaic project. The simple lines and stylised style of the Quincy drawings are perfect for younger learners, but older more experienced students can use the drawings as the foundation for something bigger and more creative!
Use the base drawings as elements in a larger scener. Turn the drawings into abstract Picasso style drawings or paintings. Tear out pieces of coloured paper from magazines and create a mosaic based on the Quincy drawings. Your imagination is the only limit!
Once school opens here again, I will share some video clips and more in-depth lesson ideas with you, and hope that you enjoy the suggestions.
Till next time - keep on drawing!