November is the time of year that begin some Native American art inspired lessons in Kindergarten. The students are already getting an introduction to Native American history in the classroom, so I try to create some connections in the art room.
We discuss petroglyphs, the symbols carved into rock by early Pueblo Indians. We also discuss their unique culture and heritage.
The students make a rock "drawing" use markers, chalk, and colorized using colored chalk and vine charcoal. I try to chose materials that encourage authenticity and simplicity. I suppose you could also use natural materials here- beet juice comes to mind for paint!
I use a ton of handouts that incorporate different symbols to meanings. The students have great fun picking out symbols to use in their drawings and make up their own as well. I find that little hands do well with this symbols, most are very basic to draw and really build confidence as they work through the artwork. We discuss how these early artists communicated their ideas through symbol making, and how we also use symbols in the modern world.
You can use painted paper for just about anything- I tend to use it for backgrounds and collage. The painted paper serves as a backdrop for the line collage and eventual painting of lines and patterns. Below you will find a gallery that shows the process from beginning to end.
The students fold the paper in half and fringe the edges. Then, you will have a gigantic piles of assorted paper on each table, mixed in with some thinner strips of black. We discuss symmetry with the start of this project- the lines should reflect each other to show unity... keep adding on! They can certainly cut into the lines to make them smaller or layer them on top of wider lines.
They finish with brightly colored paint- lines, designs, patterns!
I can't take full credit for this project! I was inspired by another art ed blogger, Painted Paper, from her Mexican marketplace series! Go check her out at www.paintedpaperart.com
In first grade, we are tackling a favorite children's book, Cloudy with a chance of meatballs.
I loved this story growing up and it is indeed naturally motivating for the students to draw from their imaginations, and draw from things that they like (food!) and know (home!)
They draw the town that they live in, buildings, houses, storefronts... and it's raining down all of their favorite foods!
We finish using black marker (or china marker) outline, colorize with crayon or oil pastel, finish with a watercolor overlay. Whew!
I can't believe this month is winding down and the holidays are almost here! Lots in store for December ❄️