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Lesson Plans

Re: multicultural ed. in art

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Chris Merriam (
Sun, 29 Sep 1996 17:42:31 -0600

Joanne L Vanbezooyen wrote:
>Is art getting lost in initiatives for multicultural education? What are
>your suggestions?

Art is, IMHO an outstanding vehicle for building bridges of understanding
and awareness of the diversity of our world. It is a "universal language".
Take advantage of the opportunites!!! :)

ELENI53 wrote:
>I believe a good, solid art education (design principles and elements,etc) is
>being sacrificed by an emphasis on art education within
> least we had to go this route in our school district
>in order to keep art iinstruction in K-6 education. It was go via
>multicultural art or little support for the visual arts at all.

One can start with what we know best, then choose one new culture and it's
art in context, build lessons on both the Elements and Principals of
Design, and compare and contrast the way people express their world. For
example, my third graders just watched a video about the Daimyo warrior
society of Japan and discussed the similarities and differences between
themselves and the people and their artforms they saw in the video. (I
teach in a school that is 98% Navajo). The Japanese have clan symbols on
their Kimonos, and all Navajos have a clan. So, the students homework was
to know thier own heritage or clan. The next week we made origami hats
similar to Samurai warriors. These were decorated with a circular symbol
for the child's clan.... one of my favorites this year was one for the
"bitterwater clan" a child drew and colored a chile in a glass of water.
Back at their classrooms they made clan tshirts with fabric paint, which
they wore as part of the traditional Native American Awareness week we
celebrate annually.

Diane Gregory wrote:
>I know this is a sensitive topic and I would appreciate a thoughful,
>>non-threatening,sensitive discussion by everyone who responds.

This post was well presented and I hope to hear more from others!


Christine Merriam, Art Specialist
Kayenta Intermediate School
AKA KewlJewl