When I teach the lesson, I start out the same way you did...showing them
symbols, showing them a medicine man doing the art. Then I ask my
students to pick a symbol they would like to give to some one who is not
feeling well or needs a Pick Me up present. They draw it on tagboard or
old poster board pieces...usually 6"x4" only. Then I ask them to add a
NA border....triangles, snakes, whatever. Next I have them color it in
with Colored pencils so they know what colors they are going to use. I
do have colored sand and I feel this is very important.
The next class we start applying the sand. I set up a table with about
8 colors of sand...I try to keep it the NA colors, black, orange,
turquoise, yellow, red, brown, green. The sand is in a 2" hign bowl
with a spoon inside it. At their tables, the students are told to
"paint" watered down glue on one area of color. I tell them they must
do this step by step. Don't try to do two colors at the same
time....one at a time. They take their "painted" artwork to the sand
table and using the spoon, sprinkle sand over the "painted" area.
The excess sand is put back into the flat bowls. The student returns
to thier worktable and "paints" the next section with watered down glue.
This process is repeated until the entire artwork is covered with sand.
When they have completed it, we sit in a circle and discuss who and
why they are giving their sandpaintings away. I feel this step helps
connect to the healing power of the sandpaintings.
I hope this helps. As far as age groups, I have done this with as
young as 1st grade and up to 6th grade. You may want to make it alittle
larger for the older students.
Judy in OK where the Native Americans still live and practice their arts
>Date: Tue, 27 Oct 1998 22:31:45 EST
>To: owner-artsednet.edu, artsednet.edu
>Subject: Navajo sandpaintings
>My 5th graders study Native American cultures and last year I attempted
>sandpainting lesson. I wasn't 100% thrilled with the lesson and am
>for suggestions to improve it.
>I have several NA symbol sheets printed up & laminated in a packet. I
>visuals of Navajo medicine man sandpaintings and we discussed radial
>symmetry, focal point, and the use of organic shapes to represent
>the difference between the genuine ones and copies....had the kids
>story or event related to their lives and use a limited number of
symbols in a
>Next the designs are transfered to a board and glue is added to the
>sand is sprinkled over them, and they watercolor over the lines. Other
>pre-mixing colors of sand, how else can this be done?
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