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Lesson Plans

Sally Baldwin's request:Native American Project grades 4&5

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Katherine Giltinan (k.giltinan)
Fri, 31 Oct 1997 20:31:59 -0600

Dear Sally,
I suggest your friend look at Jaune Quick-To-See Smith's work. Her
contemporary paintings and prints are not only gorgeous, children easily
relate to her visual language, much of which is inspired by children's art
and their familiar objects. Additionally, she presents timely social issues
with wit and humor -- making it interesting for all ages. Juxtaposing such
unlikly elements as ancient Native American art with racist 50s advertising
art, she makes points about our environment, consumerism, history, values
conflicts & education.

A fourth or fifth grade teacher will find inspiration for lessons on
geography, history, science and cultures - all of which may connect with an
art-making experience. This will be clearer if the reader is familiar with
the artist's work. But -- for instance, she uses an ancient petroglyph (
rock drawing )of Rabbit, the trickster. Perhaps children will invent a
narrative piece, using collage and paint, and telling a story of their
encounter with Rabbit. Maps are a recurring motif in Ms Quick-To-See
Smith's art. This suggests a discussion of the artist's maps followed by
producing maps of the children's worlds - home, school, mall, town, etc.-
individually or collectively.

Ms Quick-To-See Smith reminds us that Indians are very much alive in
America today. Your friend may have students with Native American parents
or ancestors. Please take care not to reinforce existing stereotypes. The
artist especially cautions teachers not to do projects on Kachinas. At the
1995 National Art Education Association she said; "It is inappropriate for
a classroom and it devalues someone else's religion".

I hope you & your friend will look at Ms. Quick-To-See Smith's artwork. It
is richly rewarding. Hope this note helps, too. Best Wishes! Kathie
At 08:34 PM 10/30/97 -0500, you wrote:
>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