Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Traveling without Moving...

To Ghana
with Yianna and Helios

Our most recent 3rd grade adventure has taken us to the vibrant country of Ghana, following the exciting discoveries of Yianna and Helios (two precarious 3rd grade friends who travel the world).

My 3rd grade students enthusiastically await for emails and letters from these two friends in discovering where in the world we land next, in our art adventure.  This time we landed on the continent of Africa and in the country of Ghana.

This art unit focused on the art and culture of Ghana, particularly the folk traditions of Kente Cloth. The art unit was broken down into 3 components in which students explored, created and reflected on the tradition and process of Kente Cloth.

Exploring:  With every travel adventure, we take a day (or so) to explore the specific country by reviewing and understanding the cultural and historical components that make each country unique.  Throughout this unit, we were building our knowledge towards answering the essential question of "How do artists use the cultural context to communicate an idea?"  Knowing the context, students begin to develop a better understanding of purpose and meaning, connecting their knowledge to their artmaking.    Along with the historical and cultural references, we listened to the story of "The Spider Weaver", telling the legend of how and why Kente Cloth is an important component to the people of Ghana.

Creating:  The instructional sequence of this unit focuses on the creation of a "Kente Cloth".  But that did not seem interesting enough;-)
The overarching goal was "By investigating the art and culture of Ghana’s Kente Cloth, students will demonstrate their understanding of color symbolism by creating a personalized “Kente Cloth” using art elements and principles (color, lines, shapes, repetition), and reflecting on their personal characteristics."  Students referenced a list of colors and associated their description with their own unique personalities, choosing four.  This creating process afforded the students to practice their measuring skills and just the challenging feat of holding a ruler straight.  The students created 3 different patterns to use within the larger creation of their Kente Cloth, filling them in with the 4 personal colors.

Reflecting:  The final component asked students to think about their choices and connect their personal understanding to the symbolic representation of color in Ghanaian culture.  Simply, the students completed 4 sentence prompts expressing how they express their chosen colors.  (I am BLUE, because I show LOVE when I HUG MY BABY BROTHER). 
This was a quick art adventure.  The instructional sequence lasted about 3 days with my students working swiftly and often in helping each other.  Check out the few of many snapshots below and follow my students daily activities on Instagram.  If you are interested in the full lesson, with printables and more resources click HERE.

Thanks for dropping by!
xoxo, Smock You.