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RE: [teacherartexchange] Sumerian art lesson


From: Hillmer, Jan (HillmJan_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Tue Sep 19 2006 - 09:48:09 PDT

We do cuneiform tablets every year - actually next week! The students
come into my room during my lunch and we do it then (don't have to take
away time from ART class!) They bring a copy of the initials of their
name to copy. At first the
students carved old crayons into triangular shapes to use as styluses
(stylii?) But I found an old box of pyrometric cones and my kiln is
digital, so we use those cones for 'writing', and I save the cones from
year to year. After the tablets are fired, we stain them with watery
acrylic. I can take pics of our tablets if you'd like.

Hi Marcia,

I would give the social studies teacher some clay and some wood
scratch sticks (skewers would work). Have the students write their
names (or whatever) in cuneiform on a slab of clay - then fire it.
They could put a hole (before firing) in it so it could be hung with
some yarn (or worn as a pendant).

In your class, do a more involved lesson with clay.
Here is a write up about ancient ceramics:

I didn't find many examples online - but you will find some great
effigy vessels if you search for ceramics from ancient Iran.

Here is a lesson I did for ancient middle east - 6th grade:

Students made cylinder seals to texture the borders. They could choose
copper, brass or aluminum color for the foil tooling. Textures of the
plates were accented with Rub 'n Buff. Glaze colors were limited to
blues and earthen colors (Amaco textured glazes). Designs for the foil
tooling were inspired by ancient middle east or Islamic motifs.

One year, I had sixth grades do effigy vessels inspired by those from
ancient Iran. I don't have digital pictures of those. They started
with either a cone, a cylinder, or a balloon to get the main shape of
the vessel. Cardboard and balloons were removed before firing.

Another project I did was foil tooled boxes. I don't have photos of
those either. Students used motifs of ancient middle east for
inspiration. I made a template for them - they tooled the foil then
scored and bent it over a cardboard box for support (I used black
poster board for that).


Judy Decker

On 9/18/06, marcia wrote:
> Our social studies teacher wants me to come up with
> an art activity/project that can complement their unit
> on Sumerian culture. I have a lot of websites and
> books about Sumerian art, but I'm having a little bit
> of trouble coming up with an actual project. This is
> for 5th grade level. Can anyone tell me about a
> project they have done or give me an idea to start
> with? Marcia Beckett, in Wisconsin.

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