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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