November 23, 2010


'TIS THE SEASON for "Calendar Art."  I feel like we just got started on our Native American unit and Thanksgiving is already here! We have studied masks, picture writing, rain sticks, pottery, totem poles but that was just a small start. So instead of packing up because a new holiday is coming Christmas, Channukah, Three Kings Day etc. I am going to do something I never did before. . . THROW AWAY MY CALENDAR! Who made the rule you can only study Native American art during Thanksgiving anyway? After break we are going to watch Maria Martinez click here to see more, make pottery, make our our own rain sticks, study animal meanings and respect for nature in Native American culture as compared with our culture. I am going to free myself from Calendar Art to explore and study and share as long as we feel is right.

Picture Writing

Native American picture dictionary we used for inspiration.

Paper Masks and Totem Poles

One way to broaden their view is to help students make connections.

Close up of a totem pole. We also are making clay totems. 
This is the comic students glued in their journal. They filled in the bubbles with things they learned about totem poles.

Stay tuned to see how long we can hold out until a green or red sparkle enters the art room and I know I'm a little bah humbug but my classroom has always been a "No Santas Allowed ZONE." He's best left to classroom teachers, mom's, and dad's. We have places to go in the art room and we're not taking a sleigh!

How do you teach a cultural art lessons in your art room? Please include a link to your post or your ideas on the subject.


Phyl said...

So much to look at on this post! I'm with you on the 'calendar art' - you may have noticed I was posting Matisse while everyone else seemed to be posting pumpkins and turkeys (I actually saw a version of a 'hand turkey' posted somewhere). I try to leave holiday projects for the classroom teachers, or there would never be time for anything else. I do like seasonal motivations for art (it's hard to ignore the changes in weather outside) but the specific holidays are best left out of hte art curriculum.

Unknown said...

Yeah I know A LOT in one post! I was thinking the same thing. Divided it into two:) I wish we worked together so you could help me edit the next grant I write.

I love your Matisse unit. There is no way to do it all with our schedules so we have to be choosey right. I'm glad I'm not the only one who doesn't care about holiday projects. People say once I have a kid I'll understand the need for all those hand turkeys but I'm not so sure about that:)

Phyl said...

The classroom teachers can make hand turkeys. Turkeys are NOT shaped like hands. There's a flock of wild turkeys frequently by the side of the road near my school, so I'm sure about this!! I think hand turkeys are not an appropriate art lesson.

As for grants - I'm a good person for editing but admit I'm clueless about grantwriting.

Snippety Gibbet said...

I'd lov to see the closeups of your masks. They look luscious! jan

Snippety Gibbet said...

And AMEN regarding the hand turkeys. I am a parent and never liked seeing that kind of thing come home. They could have been made by any kid anywhere who could follow a direction. I didn't save one of those things. And as an art teacher, it makes my head want to explode.

Unknown said...

I will take pics of the masks! It gets dark so early and I hate all the pictures I take with the flash. My goal is to start taking pics BEFORE school instead of after. Better get some sleep then! I'll definitely add the pics to this post soon. Thanks for your interest:)