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Lesson Plans

Re: Disneyization

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Christine Merriam (
Sun, 16 Feb 1997 12:11:40 -0700

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Hi folks!

Warning... this post is relevant to more than one of the past issues :)

If you are at all familiar with what is now called the Santa Fe studio
style of Native American Painting, you will see that the "Disneyization"
look has been around since the 30's. In fact, there is a debate as to
whether Disney stole Bambi from Harrison Begay or vice-versa. Anyway,
the Native American Art look until the 60's was really trapped in what
is now called "Bambi Art"...because the artists found a market for it!
Then in the 60's Native American artists were trying to break free of
this stereotype..... which still exists today.

Think this post ties back to the discussion of multiculturalism and what
is or is not pure culture. I have enjoyed reading those posts
immensly.... and wonder why my 5th Grade students who have studied
ancient China, Egypt, and now the Aztecs are beginning to ask... "why
did these people copy each other"? The age old influences of cultural
contact are evident even to their young eyes. It is a source of some
interesting discussions, and I have chosen to provide many books for
them to look at when the "teachable moment" occurs.

I do use visual aids such as videos, film strips and slides. I have
experimented with having the kids do all the talking as we look at an
image, to using the canned tapes or videos. No matter what we use, I
always go back over what we have seen.... run the video backwards and
ask the students to tell me what they learned while watching it, etc.
I have also given the students a choice... do they want to actively
participate in a discussion as we look at art, or listen and learn about
it, then discuss it. They prefer to be passive at first... I am always
amazed to watch how intently they watch the programs... they are so
thirsty for knowledge! And they know we will do a hands on activity
related to the visual, which is a motivator of sorts.

Last but not least... thanks for cutting down the repeated messages:)

Chris Merriam
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________| |_||______| |_________________________Christine
________| |_||___||_| |_______________Kayenta Intermediate
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Box 337
________| |___| |_________________________Kayenta, AZ
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