Things [ Hand Made ]

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My chance to wonder about hand made things and tell the world about those I make, love and cherish!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Lesson ideas based on aboriginal art

I know, such a catchy title but I thought I had better warn you early on!
This is not the sort of post I normally write.
Many years ago, in a galaxy far away I used to be a teacher.
I sort of ended up there. I used to think it was because of lazy careers advice but it didnt bother me too much as its a great job to do and it turned out that I was quite good at it.
 Maybe that careers teacher saw something in me that I didn't.
Anyway my kids primary school holds an arts week each year, I say week it actually 3 days. 
During Arts week the teachers take a theme and provide a variety of arts activities. The children in moved into groups across ages and they move around the school doing 3 different teachers activities a day. 
My eldest is in yr 6 (oldest class in the school) and I have helped with arts weeks for a few years now. It can be great fun but sometimes it can seem like they are doing a lot of colouring rather than a decent art activity.
This year I offered to be in a class and lead my own activity. The teacher who was planning Aboriginal art as a theme jumped at the chance and knows me well enough to let me get on with it. 
By shear coincidence I am currently reading Songlines by Bruce Chatwin. An exploration of aboriginal culture. 
On with the lesson ideas.
I started with rock art. After a short presentation of ideas we used finger tips to build up pictures of animals and symbols on pebbles. The kids loved this. Something concrete that they had made. Something to take home. 
Very important. We all love to make something we can keep and take home, don't we? 
 Using earthy colour but it would have been even cooler if we had made our own paint.
 Then I ha a more challenging activity. Having read the book Songlime I have understood some of the aboriginal art to be a symbolic map of journeys of the ancestors so we made symbolic maps of the children's life journey through school.

 We started with a plan of the school. Then laid some tracing paper over the top.
 The children marked with a symbol (collection of dots  which classrooms they had worked in. You can just see the map underneath.
 Then they continued around the "pathway" with concentric lines of dots.
 This was continued until the page was full. On the whole the children could see how they had made a symbolic picture of their time at school. It all looked cool on the drying rack. Hard for anyone else to interpret apart from the children but a real sense of understanding the process.
...........and then in the way that teachers do, the class teacher asked me to rustle up an standing figure for a model of Uluru that another group made.
Oh bliss, playing with wire and modroc!

3 comments:

two hippos said...

sounds like a wonderful time! The map reminds me of the Harry Potter map, footsteps all over Hogworts.

Angie: said...

You do know I ended up with more information about what the kids did during Arts week from your entry than I did with my own son!!! Much appreciated! :o)

red2white said...

Ha! She was write to advise you to be a teacher, has she said 'art teacher'? :) Well done, you girl, kids must have loved it!