Monday, October 7, 2013

Prehistoric Cave Art Paintings with 6th Grade

My 6th grade curriculum follows art history, and I tie into our students' social studies curriculum as well.  We begin the year with...the beginning: when pictures were first made in Prehistoric times.  I start the first day of art with the first 15 minutes of this series called "How Art Made the World," which goes over how important images are to our society and the earliest cave paintings discovered.  Here's is a video of what I show to the classes:

Here's the materials for the project:

-Light Brown Paper (will be torn)
-Cardboard (cut down for back support)
-Black Paint
-White, Peach, Brown, and Black Chalk Pastels
-Water and Water Bowl
-Reference sheets (examples of symbols, Prehistoric drawings, etc.)

The students will create their own Prehistoric painting that tells a visual story.  Students can use tribal and Cave Art references to assist in telling their story.  Materials will replicate the look of a cave wall.

Here is a reference picture I had found on Petroglyphs (rock engravings):

Project Time
On day 1 (40 minute class period), students watch the video (15 minutes), complete their worksheets, and discuss what they watched.  In the last 10-15 minutes, students will use references to draw their visual story onto brown paper.

The worksheets consisted of 5 questions related to the video (you can copy/paste these questions to create your own worksheet if you wish):

1.   Why are images important to us? 

2.   Where was the first cave painting discovered?

3.   Who discovered the first cave painting?

4.   What was painted on the walls and ceilings of the caves?

5.   Why did the scholars not believe in De Sautuola’s discovery?

On day 2, students will complete their drawings, then tear the edges off their paper.  They get a little scared when I tell them to crumble their paper into a ball, but when they unfold the wad of paper, they see the wrinkled texture needed for the look of the project.  I then ask the students to use chalk pastels lightly over their paper to add different colors, which would be similar to the cave walls.  Students then glue a cardboard backing to their paper to support the project.

On day 3, students will paint over their pencil drawings.  I have the paper crumbled beforehand so students can have the experience on painting onto rougher textures, similar to a rock wall.

Here are some completed projects!

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