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Students are given examples of Native American designs used on clothing,
blankets, ritual objects, (especially the patterns found on the ancient
Anasazi black and white pottery) --symbols, repetitive patterns, geometric
shapes, etc. (Look in "Southwest" magazine for examples or do a little
research in the library--you might even get the Chamber of Commerce in Santa
Fe send you some materials).
Using black "Sharpie" markers and 8 1/2 by 11 unlined paper, have students
design a Native American blanket pattern--in- corporating geometrics like
triangles, squares, spirals, etc. Instruct them to have about 1/3 of their
design solid black, 1/3 white and 1/3 a middle value range by using small
patterns or fine parallel lines found in many of the ancient black and white
pottery designs. They usually get into this geometric doodling quite well.
Have them sign their drawings in the lower right corner (this eliminates
typing labels later).
After the drawings are finished, I make four zerox copies of each design.
They are then displayed (no matting necessary) in vertical rows which
contain each students' four copies of their design. If you have 20 students,
you end up with one large black and white composition 44 inches by 170 inches
(4 identical designs in each vertical row with a total of 20 vertical
rows--or more depending on the number of students you have). I usually frame
the large arrangement with black construction paper triangles and label the
display "Native Patterns". Our gallery display is a long gray carpeted wall
which I can staple in to, which makes this display very easy, but extremely
If you need further instructions, let me know.