Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Cave Art Lesson Using Charcoal and Chalk - All Ages

This is probably my favorite lesson to teach.  
 I Love ancient art.
You will need:
You can also add white chalk and large brown paper on a roll to make big cave drawings.

I start the lesson by reading this wonderful story:
This book is perfect for this lesson with wonderful illustrations!

Next I show them slides from Lascaux, Chauvet and other pictographs and petroglyphs to show them the variety of art they can use for inspiration.



Ice Age Paleolithic Cave Paintings

I introduce them to the story of Lascaux and how it was discovered by teenage boys whose dog had gotten into a hole which led to the cave.

I ask them questions about the slides, such as what do they see?  How was this made?  What did they use for paint, etc...

Lascaux Cave was discovered in France On September 12, 1940, the entrance to the Lascaux Cave was discovered by 18-year-old Marcel Ravidat who returned to the scene with three friends, Jacques Marsal, Georges Agnel, and Simon Coencas. They entered the cave through a (49 ft) deep shaft to rescue their dog which had fallen into the hole. The teenagers discovered that the cave walls were covered with depictions of animals.  The cave complex was opened to the public on July 14, 1948. By 1955, carbon dioxide, heat, humidity, and other contaminants produced by 1,200 visitors per day had visibly damaged the paintings. As air condition deteriorated, fungi and lichen increasingly infested the walls. Consequently, the cave was closed to the public in 1963, the paintings were restored to their original state and a monitoring system on a daily basis was introduced.
Lascaux II, an exact copy of the Great Hall of the Bulls and the Painted Gallery opened in 1983 in the cave's vicinity (about 200 m. away from the original cave), a compromise and attempt to present an impression of the paintings' scale and composition for the public without harming the originals. The paintings for this site were duplicated with the same type of materials as iron oxide, charcoal and ochre which were believed to be used 19 thousand years ago.
I can't imagine shining my light onto the cave walls and seeing all of these amazing paintings!
Next I introduce the Chauvet Cave also in France which wasn't discovered until 1994 because a rock slide had hidden the entrance for at least 30,000 years. It was happened upon by a small team of cavers led by Jean-Marie Chauvet.  This cave was immediately sealed to make sure it didn't deteriorate like Lascaux. They have created an exact duplicate for the public to visit.  

It's exciting that these discoveries are still being made!


I like them to see a large variety of animals and styles.

I show several other examples of Pictographs and Petroglyphs, some from Africa with Giraffes etc...  Just so they can see how this art is all around the world.  I end with Native American Petroglyphs of bighorn sheep etc...
We also talk about how they didn't have a written language and that these handprints have been found in caves all around the world.  
Next I pass out brown 12X18" paper and charcoal.  You can just let them start drawing or if they are younger students give them some quick animal drawing tips to get them started.
I turn off the lights in the classroom and play Native American Flute music, they are instructed not to use any words or modern day images.  They can put their names on the back, their handprint on the front.  They are cave artists for this class, working in dim light just like artists from that time.  Once they finish their individual drawing they can take their drawing tools to the large paper cave wall on the floor and do a class cave art drawing.

2nd Grade examples:





We talk about how large these paintings are, the one in Lascaux of the Bull is 17' long!
Large paper roll cave wall Examples:

















Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Rudolph or Clarice DIY Glitter Ornament Balls

I have seen these ornaments for several years but decided to give them a try this year.  They are so easy - and the ornaments have really gotten affordable.  I got mine at Michael's on sale and they were only .40 each.



I'm going to do these with some handicapped students so decided not to have them draw or paint the faces - that way they won't get frustrated.  They struggle with seeing and also with writing steadily.
I found the stick on google eyes at Michael's as well as the fine glitter.

I tried to find the Future Floor Wax but none of my stores had it - this one works great instead.
You take the top of the ornament off and pour about a tablespoon of floor wax inside, swish it around and pour out the extra back into the bottle.

Now put some glitter into your ornament with a funnel or rolled up paper and swirl it all around in the ornament.  I put my finger over the top and shook it and then put the extra glitter back in the container.

I made one about a week ago and the glitter is really stuck inside the ornament.
 (I was kind of worried the wax wouldn't keep the glitter on, but it does)

I used the pattern below and uploaded it on my Cricut, then cut out the antlers using gold glitter paper.

You could also use this as a pattern and cut them out of card stock.

I made a triangle pattern for the ears and cut those out of felt by hand.

The Noses are from the $ tree.

You can add a bow and it looks like Clarice or leave it off for Rudolph.

I used a glue gun to add the ears, antlers, bow and nose.

I think they will enjoy putting these together and they're so sparkly and cute when finished.
My Student's work : )

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Alebrije or Animalito Paper Craft for Elementary Students


Ever since I saw the Disney Pixar Movie Coco I have been wanting to do some kind of art lesson on Alebrijes.  I have always loved these imaginative animals with their bright bold colors and patterns, but the movie really inspired me to come up with a fun lesson for kids to make their own.
Alebrije are usually carved out of wood or made out of paper mâché.  I thought about trying clay or paper mâché, but in the end decided this was too time consuming and I didn't want to do a drawing or painting - I wanted some dimension so this is what I came up with.
Pedro Linares - Artist who invented Alebrije - this link tells his story.
He made creatures that were made of different animals combined.  I am going to tell his story and let my students decide if they want to change their animals paws to claws, give them wings, horns etc...
They can make a more realistic animal or be inspired to create their own unique Alebrije.
What you will need:
Colored cardstock
Glue
Gel pens
Pencils
Scissors
Glitter is optional

I found a pattern for a horse on Krokotac and changed it a little bit:
You can print this Jpeg directly onto card stock or trace it on the fold - see below.



I traced mine on a half sheet of card stock folded lengthwise.  I am going to have my students trace theirs and add their own details such as eyes, mane, mouth etc...  I think they will be able to do this on their own.
You may have to help them with the folding to make the head pop up.
 Fold the neck towards the body.
 Next fold the two angled folds on each side.


 Push the neck towards the back fold and then fold the horse in half.

Put a little bit of glue inside the head and the tail, but not the body so it will stand.
Now it's ready for decorating.  I used gel pens.


I'm going to show my students examples - if they want to make a donkey we can add bigger ears.  They can make any animal with hooves with this, zebra, cow, deer, goat, sheep, etc... I used a bamboo skewer with glue and glitter to make the unicorn horn for mine and just put it inside the head with a little glue.


For the Coyote I made my own pattern which needs to be cut on a diagonal fold.




Once you get the Coyote cut out and glue on the tail it will keep him together so you don't need to glue anywhere else.
I would wait until you have all the decoration on both pieces before glueing.





By changing the ears and the tail you can make this into a cat, wolf, jaguar, leopard, raccoon, etc...
I made some wings to add to mine like this:
 I cut them on a fold.


 Then I folded one side about 1/8 of an inch
 Turned it over and folded the other side to match
 Now it's ready to decorate and will glue onto the animal's back


I can't wait to see what my students come up with!  I'll post some pix after I teach it!

Photos of student work ages 5-12







Cave Art Lesson Using Charcoal and Chalk - All Ages

This is probably my favorite lesson to teach.    I Love ancient art. You will need: You can also add white chalk and large brown pa...