Mexican Amate ‘Bark’ Art ~ Year 1/2

As part of a theme of world culture art, Year 1 & 2 looked at some traditional paintings on bark from Mexico. Students viewed amate paintings depicting flowers, birds and images from nature all in bright colours, outlined in black. We discussed the use of bright colours, size and placement of objects, for example one or two birds taking up most of the space, surrounded by flowers.

Amate comes from the Nahuatl word ‘amatl’ (paper) and is an ancient tradition of paper making made using the bark of fig and mulberry trees. To make amate, the outer tree bark is peeled and the inner bark is boiled and soaked in water overnight, then beaten with a smooth flat stone until the fibres fuse into a pulp. The pulp is molded and left to dry in the sun.

Firstly students practised drawing some birds in to their scrap books using printed out reference sheets as a guide. Then they chose one or two birds to draw ‘big’ onto 80gsm brown kraft paper in pencil first. They had a choice to use square of rectangle paper.

Oil pastels were used to colour in the birds and flowers, blending colours together with on finger. The paper was then crumpled to resemble the texture of bark paper like Amate.

Lesson plan is aligned to the Victorian Curriculum, with learning intentions, success criteria, lesson steps and activities. There are two levelled reflection / evaluation sheets, plus five sheets of drawing reference sheets.

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Mola Art ~ Year 1-2

World Culture Art lesson inspired by Mola art from San Blas Islands in Panama

Mola art is a panel sewn onto the front and back of the blouse or dress made and worn by the Kuna/Guna women from the San Blas Islands in Panama. It is traditionally made with layers of colourful fabric and the technique of reverse applique by cutting away parts of each layer to reveal a colour shape then turning under and sewing down the edges creating patterns and pictures of birds, fish, animals, flowers and plants.

Our art lesson captures the colour, shapes, patterns and layers using skills of collage: cutting out shapes and arranging to fill the space. Lots of concepts and skills- colour, line, shape, space, size, cutting, overlaying, arranging, pasting. I drew simple shapes of animals, fish and flowers to print out onto coloured cover paper for children to choose their shape (or students could draw their own shape)

They cut out their shape, chose a contrast colour to glue it onto, traced around it then cut out around the shape. They repeated this two more times before gluing to black paper to fill the negative space with coloured strips and shapes.

Victorian Curriculum Lesson for Year 1-2 with learning intentions, success criteria, lesson steps, links to useful videos or slides, shape pictures to copy onto A4 coloured paper (or to make shapes to trace) and a reflection or review sheet /activity to complete as a class or well suited to Year 2 to complete individually.

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Koru: Māori Art from New Zealand ~ Year 1-2

Koru is a spiral shape representing the unfurling fern and is an integral symbol in Maori art from New Zealand. It symbolises new life, growth, strength and peace. This project was one of a few lessons I did with Year 1-2 students on art from different cultures. I had done it may years ago successfully with a Prep class and wanted the Year 1-2 students to add a little more detail. We looked at the Koru art of Raewyn Harris from New Zealand as well as various drawings and tattoos with the koru shape.

It’s a good idea to get the students to practise drawing a spiral shape BIG so they can return the line out of the centre. We used black ink daubers to get the thick black lines. Next step was painting!

Victorian Curriculum Lesson plan for Year 1/2 with learning intentions success criteria, lesson activity steps, useful video and website links, example work.

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