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Lesson Plans

Re: Native American project

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carla harwitt (
Sat, 1 Nov 1997 00:04:05 -0800 (PST)

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Just a gloss on your excellent project idea about cave paintings. I did a
similar project with my AP (college-level) Art History students [we merely
used construction paper - I'm going to "borrow" your crumpled paper bag
idea], and for paint I used nontoxic powdered paints to simulate the
crushed pigments. For the negative hand images, they could put the powder
on the back of their hands and blow through a straw.

When we finished the pictures (same personal-symbolism idea), volunteers
would let the class discuss their pictures, as if they were in a museum -
talking about meaning, formal elements, etc. Then, we [unlike people
looking at real cave paintings] had the benefit of hearing the artists
explain what *they* had in mind with the pictures. Very interesting
exercise in differing/relevance of both audience and artist viewpoints in
looking at art.

Hope this is useful...

Carla Schiller (formerly Harwitt)
Teacher, Highly Gifted Magnet
North Hollywood High School
Los Angeles Unified School District
People always make the best choices from among those they see, they just
don't always see ALL the choices...

On Fri, 31 Oct 1997, Michelle Vidro wrote:

> Sally,
> How about showing some cave paintings, and then doing your own. I did this
> with first graders and it was a big success.
> Cave painting:
> 1. Cut up some brown grocery bags into large sheets,like 12"x12" or whatever.
> 2. Have kids crumble them up really tight, then uncrumble them. This is
> their cave wall.
> 3. Put some white paint in a spray bottle. They can put their hand down on
> the paper and spray, leaving handprint as negative shape. (An object can be
> used instead of hand.) Explain how they used to put paint in their mouths
> to spray.
> 4. Then using brushes and a limited palette (explain that making colors was
> very time consuming because they had to gather flowers and such to grind
> into pigment) have them paint "symbols" of our time. Refer to the symbols
> that they painted, as in animals before a hunt, etc.
> That's it! Good luck!
> Michelle
> >A former student of mine who is studying to be an elementary teacher is in
> >need of an idea for an art project that deals with Native Americans.
> >She'll will be working with 4th and 5th graders for an hour max.
> >
> >Any ideas?
> >
> >Thanks, Sally

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