Lesson Plans by Discipline - Multicultural


African Ceremonial Mask
click to collapse

Grades K – 4

 

Grade Level

NEW! Shibori Kimono

Experiment with Japanese paper-dyeing techniques using traditional rice papers, then share papers to create simple origami kimonos. The result is a stunning combination of art and culture.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Spoon Skulls

Sugar Skulls are a folk art tradition from central and southern Mexico, made as part of the Day of the Dead celebration. Students can create and decorate a long-lasting skull from glow-in-the-dark clay pressed into a common tablespoon used as a mold. Add colorful designs with tempera paint or markers and enjoy Dia de Muertos!

Watch the Video

1 – 8

Wayang Kulit Shadow Puppetry

Tell a story through a traditional Indonesian shadow puppet play! Make a puppet that looks like leather by dampening and crinkling black cardstock, then create interesting patterns with paper punches. Finish with metallic markers and glue to dowels!

K – 12

Block-Print Koinobori

In Japan, Children's Day on May 5th is heralded by the appearance of flying fish: carp-shaped windsocks known as “Koinobori”. In this lesson, students design a “scale”-shaped block from soft block printing material and apply it repetitively to outdoor-safe fabric that has been cut in the shape of a fish. Add details like eyes, fins, and a tail using metallic and sparkle paint, and the Koinobori is ready to hang and “swim” through the breeze!

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Concentric Kirigami

A variation on Japanese Origami, Kirigami is created by folding paper and cutting portions away. This surprisingly uncomplicated relief sculpture is assembled with “rings” cut from double-sided sheets of colorful cardstock. The edges of the rings are folded, cut, unfolded, and layered concentrically (placed around the same center point) to make modern-day Kirigami designs.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

“Gawu” — African Inspired Tapestry

Ghana-born artist El Anatsui is known internationally for his large-scale sculptures called “Gawu,” a composite of the words “ga,” meaning something made of metal and 'wu,” meaning a fashioned garment. In this lesson, students create their own tapestries as a response to El Anatsui's art, using African kente to discover rhythm and pattern in art. Recycled materials can be used, including folded papers and labels.

K – 12
Special Education

My Daruma

A traditional Japanese weighted toy, Daruma always return to an upright position. This project reveals how to weight the bottom of a plastic egg and cover with instant maché to make these symbols of success, determination, and overcoming adversity.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Sumi-e Resist Painting

NOTE! The liquid wax used in this lesson plan is now tinted green. Artwork produced using this process will not look like the examples shown. Practice the ancient art of sumi-e painting with a modern twist! Paint with diluted wax resist, then reveal your masterpiece by applying black sumi-e ink over the top. The addition of watercolor gives the painting even more interest.

Watch the Video

K – 12

Mehndi Art Gloves

Originating in ancient India, Mehndi is the artistic application of designs to the hands and feet. Students can enjoy the practice of Mehndi without staining their skin by creating radial designs in marker while wearing a glove. The sense of touch while creating the design is an important part of the process.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Doodle Dancer

Mehndi, tatau, and modern "ink" - the history of art is incomplete without including the practice of creating decoration on human skin. In this lesson plan, students create a jointed clay marionette and use fine-line markers to cover it with expressive designs.

3 – 12

String Painting

Inspired by Huichol Nierikas — beautiful paintings made from yarn pressed onto beeswax — this is a simple way for students to experience the color, geometric linework and symbolism of this Native American art form. Using colorful string applied to an adhesive-backed piece of felt, students create their designs without messy glue or sharp cutting tools.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Tibetan Wishing Banner

Tibetan wish or prayer flags traditionally are used to promote peace, compassion, strength and wisdom. Tibetans do not believe that the flags carry prayers to the gods, but rather that their messages and wishes will be blown by the wind to spread goodwill and compassion into all-pervading space. In this project, students will use a liquid wax resist that will be painted onto silk rectangles and need not be removed. Vibrant color and a final gold embellishment finish the piece.

2 – 12

Egg-stra Easy Watercolor “Crunch”

Traditionally, eggshell mosaics are made by first dying then positioning each shard individually — a time-consuming and delicate process. This project introduces a new way to crush and color eggshells, creating intricate veining and texture all at once without pre-dying or arranging each fragment. The simple glue-and-paint process and satisfying “crunch!” of breaking eggshells will delight children of all ages and skill levels.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Navajo-Inspired Bottles - 2 Projects by Mayco® Colors

Navajo pottery tended towards functional ware and minimalist design and decoration. Pinch, slab and coil construction methods were used to make bowls and bottles, for carrying water and food consumption. In these projects students will use their knowledge of Navajo symbols to create Navajo inspired designs on a clay bottles.

4 – 8

Polynesian “Medicine” Sticks

Polynesia is a large area in the central and southern Pacific Ocean containing more than 1,000 scattered islands. Many of these islands share cultural similarities among the various groups of people who live on them, especially in terms of their mythologies. Stories often include gods or deities that rule nature. In addition to the oral tradition, "god sticks" are made to represent these deities, usually in the form of a human face or figure wrapped in bark cloth or cord.

3 – 8

Itajime Decorative Paper

Itajime Shibori is a technique for folding, clamping and dyeing paper or fabric resulting in beautiful designs – very similar to tie-dye. The folds and clamps keep the dye or ink from penetrating fully in certain areas making patterns and giving a dimensional appearance on a flat surface. This project is a great way to teach students the scientific concept of diffusion and color mixing.

3 – 12

Stilt Houses

A stilt house is constructed on posts above water, allowing people to live in areas that have very little dry land. Found in many coastal and wetland regions of the world, stilt houses can be ultra modern or very basic. In this lesson, students build a stilt house while being mindful of the area where the house might exist and the lifestyle of its inhabitants.

3 – 7

Drapo Dazzle

Inspired by the sequinned banners of Haiti, students will make a banner of their own design using a variety of glittery, sparkly, shiny materials and brilliant colors. Use this opportunity to learn about the art and history of Haiti, a unique blend of African, French, Spanish and Native Caribbean cultures.

K – 8

Painted “Silk” Shapes

The production and commerce of decorated silk fabrics began thousands of years ago in China. This project introduces fine-mesh polyester as a silk-like fabric for painting. Form a wire shape as a support and paint with transparent liquid acrylic color. Finished pieces are flexible and may be heat-set for outdoor display.

3 – 12

Middle East Reflections

Geometric patterns occur in rich profusion throughout Islamic Cultures. This lesson is an invitation to look at the history and meaning behind patterns and view the work of a contemporary Iranian artist. Students design and assemble a reflective mosaic pattern using metallic papers on adhesive film. Easy and tidy...no glue!

K – 12

Native American Story Necklaces

One of the many rich crafts produced within the Native American culture is a "fetish," or story necklace, designed to illustrate history and legend with carved creatures representing spirits, animals or ancestors.

K – 6

Persian and Navajo Rug Bookmarks

This lesson plan explains two diverse and beautiful style of textiles: Persian carpets and Navajo rugs. Similar colors and geometric shapes are two common elements of both.

4 – 8

Simple Suminagashi Monoprints

Suminagashi is a process in which Sumi ink is floated on the surface of plain water, then transferred to a sheet of paper. Each monoprint is like a fingerprint — unique and unreproducible.

Watch the Video

3 – 12
Special Education

Filipino Parol

In the Philippines, during the Festival of Lights, parol (puh-roll), or star-shaped lanterns, symbolize the victory of light over darkness as well as hope and goodwill. These simple parol are created with natural reed, translucent rice paper and liquid watercolor. Displayed in a window or hanging from a light fixture, they make colorful, festive decorations for any season.

Watch the Video

3 – 8

No Sew Molas

The Kuna culture flourishes today in the San Blas Islands with the vibrant trade of native Molas — brightly colored cotten panels that have been hand-sewn for many decades. Kuna women use both appliqué and reverse appliqué sewing techniques. These easy “no sew” Molas are made with felt and glue, rather than stitching.

K – 8

Ostrich Eggshell Mosaic

In Namibia, ostrich eggshells are broken and used in many contemporary art forms. The shapes are often sanded or painted This lesson plan uses small pieces of wood and cardstock to closely resemble the thick shell pieces.

K – 12

Huichol Clay Painting

This lesson plan uses intensely colorful, easy-to-use Model Magic air-dry clay in place of yarn to create paintings similar to the art of the Huichol tribe. Students create “strings” of clay and press them together on a rigid surface. to create symbolic images and designs.

3 – 8

Talking Rocks

Native Americans in the Southwest left messages on stones that still speak to us today. Some of these pictures were actually carvings called "petroglyphs".This lesson uses air-dry clay to make symbolic drawings on “stone.”

2 – 5

Texture Critters

Oaxacan woodcarvings of animals are decorated with whimsical color and loaded with all-over designs. This project lets students explore simple shapes and textures by drawing an outline shape of an animal then filling it in with as many textures and patterns as they can think of.

2 – 8

Yarn Bottles

The Huichol tribe use yarn to decorate gourds, clothing and other items, appliing it in adjacent rows of varying colors and patterns. Bottles are a 3-D surface that offers endless design possibilities.

K – 6

Decorative Paper Fans

Listed are colorful samples of simple fans. Discuss the importance of fans and how they were used to keep people comfortable for years.

K – 6

Donkey Beads and Bells

Combining clay beadmaking with basic pinch and coil pot construction, students make a musical piece of art.

K – 12

Coil-Built Pueblo Bowl

Students explore Native American pottery traditions and discover the purpose behind the animal imagery and geometric patterns used to decorate various pottery forms. Students with kiln access will learn how to use underglazes and glazes to transform their bowls into functional ware

3 – 8

Easy Fabric Batik with Glue

Explore the beauty of fabric batik without the danger of hot wax or dyes. Simply trace a design onto muslin with washable glue and add brilliant color.

Watch the Video

3 – 8

Shoji Screen

Japanese homes have interior walls that are actually large, movable screens constructed of thin wooden strips and very strong paper — allowing light to shine through. In this lesson plan, three small Shoji screens are created to hang on a wall or stand upright on the floor.

4 – 6

Ultimate Paisley Patterns

First seen in Persian fabric design, the signature floral kidney and tear shapes of Paisley prints are a great lesson in pattern and rhythm. French curves and colored pencils are used to draw colorful versions on construction paper.

3 – 12

Asian Banners

Introduce students to calligraphy, ink, folding and dyeing techniques. The end result is a beautiful banner they will be proud to hang up!

3 – 8

Carnival Scratch Art Mask

Explore the history of carnival masks from various cultures. Ornate and colorful masks are easy to create with Scratch Art Film and permanent markers.

K – 8

Buffalo Hides

The Native American tribes of the plains tanned and prepared buffalo hides, then painted them with symbols and story-telling pictures that told their tribal history and honored the spirits.

K – 4

Aboriginal Hand Prints

The stenciled hand print and aboriginal style drawings help children to relate to the man from the Australian Aboriginal Culture, while helping them to understand the use of line in art.

K – 4

click to collapse

Grades 5 – 8

 

Grade Level

NEW! Shibori Kimono

Experiment with Japanese paper-dyeing techniques using traditional rice papers, then share papers to create simple origami kimonos. The result is a stunning combination of art and culture.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Spoon Skulls

Sugar Skulls are a folk art tradition from central and southern Mexico, made as part of the Day of the Dead celebration. Students can create and decorate a long-lasting skull from glow-in-the-dark clay pressed into a common tablespoon used as a mold. Add colorful designs with tempera paint or markers and enjoy Dia de Muertos!

Watch the Video

1 – 8

Wayang Kulit Shadow Puppetry

Tell a story through a traditional Indonesian shadow puppet play! Make a puppet that looks like leather by dampening and crinkling black cardstock, then create interesting patterns with paper punches. Finish with metallic markers and glue to dowels!

K – 12

Block-Print Koinobori

In Japan, Children's Day on May 5th is heralded by the appearance of flying fish: carp-shaped windsocks known as “Koinobori”. In this lesson, students design a “scale”-shaped block from soft block printing material and apply it repetitively to outdoor-safe fabric that has been cut in the shape of a fish. Add details like eyes, fins, and a tail using metallic and sparkle paint, and the Koinobori is ready to hang and “swim” through the breeze!

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Concentric Kirigami

A variation on Japanese Origami, Kirigami is created by folding paper and cutting portions away. This surprisingly uncomplicated relief sculpture is assembled with “rings” cut from double-sided sheets of colorful cardstock. The edges of the rings are folded, cut, unfolded, and layered concentrically (placed around the same center point) to make modern-day Kirigami designs.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

“Gawu” — African Inspired Tapestry

Ghana-born artist El Anatsui is known internationally for his large-scale sculptures called “Gawu,” a composite of the words “ga,” meaning something made of metal and 'wu,” meaning a fashioned garment. In this lesson, students create their own tapestries as a response to El Anatsui's art, using African kente to discover rhythm and pattern in art. Recycled materials can be used, including folded papers and labels.

K – 12
Special Education

My Daruma

A traditional Japanese weighted toy, Daruma always return to an upright position. This project reveals how to weight the bottom of a plastic egg and cover with instant maché to make these symbols of success, determination, and overcoming adversity.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Many Metals “Day of the Dead” Triptych

Celebrate a happy and colorful Mexican tradition with many metals! Using the skull as a symbol of rebirth, create a triptych with embossed metal, papier mâché, and lots of color and sparkle!

Watch the Video

5 – 12

Sumi-e Resist Painting

NOTE! The liquid wax used in this lesson plan is now tinted green. Artwork produced using this process will not look like the examples shown. Practice the ancient art of sumi-e painting with a modern twist! Paint with diluted wax resist, then reveal your masterpiece by applying black sumi-e ink over the top. The addition of watercolor gives the painting even more interest.

Watch the Video

K – 12

Mehndi Art Gloves

Originating in ancient India, Mehndi is the artistic application of designs to the hands and feet. Students can enjoy the practice of Mehndi without staining their skin by creating radial designs in marker while wearing a glove. The sense of touch while creating the design is an important part of the process.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Doodle Dancer

Mehndi, tatau, and modern "ink" - the history of art is incomplete without including the practice of creating decoration on human skin. In this lesson plan, students create a jointed clay marionette and use fine-line markers to cover it with expressive designs.

3 – 12

String Painting

Inspired by Huichol Nierikas — beautiful paintings made from yarn pressed onto beeswax — this is a simple way for students to experience the color, geometric linework and symbolism of this Native American art form. Using colorful string applied to an adhesive-backed piece of felt, students create their designs without messy glue or sharp cutting tools.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Tibetan Wishing Banner

Tibetan wish or prayer flags traditionally are used to promote peace, compassion, strength and wisdom. Tibetans do not believe that the flags carry prayers to the gods, but rather that their messages and wishes will be blown by the wind to spread goodwill and compassion into all-pervading space. In this project, students will use a liquid wax resist that will be painted onto silk rectangles and need not be removed. Vibrant color and a final gold embellishment finish the piece.

2 – 12

Egg-stra Easy Watercolor “Crunch”

Traditionally, eggshell mosaics are made by first dying then positioning each shard individually — a time-consuming and delicate process. This project introduces a new way to crush and color eggshells, creating intricate veining and texture all at once without pre-dying or arranging each fragment. The simple glue-and-paint process and satisfying “crunch!” of breaking eggshells will delight children of all ages and skill levels.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Navajo-Inspired Bottles - 2 Projects by Mayco® Colors

Navajo pottery tended towards functional ware and minimalist design and decoration. Pinch, slab and coil construction methods were used to make bowls and bottles, for carrying water and food consumption. In these projects students will use their knowledge of Navajo symbols to create Navajo inspired designs on a clay bottles.

4 – 8

Polynesian “Medicine” Sticks

Polynesia is a large area in the central and southern Pacific Ocean containing more than 1,000 scattered islands. Many of these islands share cultural similarities among the various groups of people who live on them, especially in terms of their mythologies. Stories often include gods or deities that rule nature. In addition to the oral tradition, "god sticks" are made to represent these deities, usually in the form of a human face or figure wrapped in bark cloth or cord.

3 – 8

Itajime Decorative Paper

Itajime Shibori is a technique for folding, clamping and dyeing paper or fabric resulting in beautiful designs – very similar to tie-dye. The folds and clamps keep the dye or ink from penetrating fully in certain areas making patterns and giving a dimensional appearance on a flat surface. This project is a great way to teach students the scientific concept of diffusion and color mixing.

3 – 12

Stilt Houses

A stilt house is constructed on posts above water, allowing people to live in areas that have very little dry land. Found in many coastal and wetland regions of the world, stilt houses can be ultra modern or very basic. In this lesson, students build a stilt house while being mindful of the area where the house might exist and the lifestyle of its inhabitants.

3 – 7

Drapo Dazzle

Inspired by the sequinned banners of Haiti, students will make a banner of their own design using a variety of glittery, sparkly, shiny materials and brilliant colors. Use this opportunity to learn about the art and history of Haiti, a unique blend of African, French, Spanish and Native Caribbean cultures.

K – 8

Painted “Silk” Shapes

The production and commerce of decorated silk fabrics began thousands of years ago in China. This project introduces fine-mesh polyester as a silk-like fabric for painting. Form a wire shape as a support and paint with transparent liquid acrylic color. Finished pieces are flexible and may be heat-set for outdoor display.

3 – 12

Middle East Reflections

Geometric patterns occur in rich profusion throughout Islamic Cultures. This lesson is an invitation to look at the history and meaning behind patterns and view the work of a contemporary Iranian artist. Students design and assemble a reflective mosaic pattern using metallic papers on adhesive film. Easy and tidy...no glue!

K – 12

Native American Story Necklaces

One of the many rich crafts produced within the Native American culture is a "fetish," or story necklace, designed to illustrate history and legend with carved creatures representing spirits, animals or ancestors.

K – 6

Persian and Navajo Rug Bookmarks

This lesson plan explains two diverse and beautiful style of textiles: Persian carpets and Navajo rugs. Similar colors and geometric shapes are two common elements of both.

4 – 8

Simple Suminagashi Monoprints

Suminagashi is a process in which Sumi ink is floated on the surface of plain water, then transferred to a sheet of paper. Each monoprint is like a fingerprint — unique and unreproducible.

Watch the Video

3 – 12
Special Education

Filipino Parol

In the Philippines, during the Festival of Lights, parol (puh-roll), or star-shaped lanterns, symbolize the victory of light over darkness as well as hope and goodwill. These simple parol are created with natural reed, translucent rice paper and liquid watercolor. Displayed in a window or hanging from a light fixture, they make colorful, festive decorations for any season.

Watch the Video

3 – 8

No Sew Molas

The Kuna culture flourishes today in the San Blas Islands with the vibrant trade of native Molas — brightly colored cotten panels that have been hand-sewn for many decades. Kuna women use both appliqué and reverse appliqué sewing techniques. These easy “no sew” Molas are made with felt and glue, rather than stitching.

K – 8

Ostrich Eggshell Mosaic

In Namibia, ostrich eggshells are broken and used in many contemporary art forms. The shapes are often sanded or painted This lesson plan uses small pieces of wood and cardstock to closely resemble the thick shell pieces.

K – 12

Huichol Clay Painting

This lesson plan uses intensely colorful, easy-to-use Model Magic air-dry clay in place of yarn to create paintings similar to the art of the Huichol tribe. Students create “strings” of clay and press them together on a rigid surface. to create symbolic images and designs.

3 – 8

Southwest Native American Jewelry

Native Americans used symbols and motifs with deep cultural significance in making jewelry with clay, turquoise, coral, shell, wood and bone. After Spanish explorers brought silversmithing to Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo artists in the 1800's, Southwest jewelry developed into a distinctive art form.

7 – 12

Talking Rocks

Native Americans in the Southwest left messages on stones that still speak to us today. Some of these pictures were actually carvings called "petroglyphs".This lesson uses air-dry clay to make symbolic drawings on “stone.”

2 – 5

Texture Critters

Oaxacan woodcarvings of animals are decorated with whimsical color and loaded with all-over designs. This project lets students explore simple shapes and textures by drawing an outline shape of an animal then filling it in with as many textures and patterns as they can think of.

2 – 8

Tie-Dye Shibori Vessel

The ancient Japanese tradition of textile painting known as Shibori entails many techniques and processes including the gathering, wrapping and binding methods that we call "tie-dye" today. This 2-part lesson involves painting and draping stiffened fabric to create a sculptural piece.

7 – 12

Yarn Bottles

The Huichol tribe use yarn to decorate gourds, clothing and other items, appliing it in adjacent rows of varying colors and patterns. Bottles are a 3-D surface that offers endless design possibilities.

K – 6

Decorative Paper Fans

Listed are colorful samples of simple fans. Discuss the importance of fans and how they were used to keep people comfortable for years.

K – 6

Donkey Beads and Bells

Combining clay beadmaking with basic pinch and coil pot construction, students make a musical piece of art.

K – 12

Egyptian Fan

Ancient Egyptians applied gold leaf onto carved wood panels to tell stories and create opulence and on everyday objects. Follow the process these artists used to carve and gild a fan fit for King Tutankhamen.

5 – 12

Canvas Screen

Students use all the elements and principles of design.

8 – 12

Coil-Built Pueblo Bowl

Students explore Native American pottery traditions and discover the purpose behind the animal imagery and geometric patterns used to decorate various pottery forms. Students with kiln access will learn how to use underglazes and glazes to transform their bowls into functional ware

3 – 8

Easy Fabric Batik with Glue

Explore the beauty of fabric batik without the danger of hot wax or dyes. Simply trace a design onto muslin with washable glue and add brilliant color.

Watch the Video

3 – 8

Paper Maki-e

Maki-e translates "sprinkle pictures" – the beautiful art of Japanese lacquerware. To achieve a similar look, cut and glue painted papers to a surface and sprinkle with metallic powdered pigments.

5 – 12

Shoji Screen

Japanese homes have interior walls that are actually large, movable screens constructed of thin wooden strips and very strong paper — allowing light to shine through. In this lesson plan, three small Shoji screens are created to hang on a wall or stand upright on the floor.

4 – 6

Ultimate Paisley Patterns

First seen in Persian fabric design, the signature floral kidney and tear shapes of Paisley prints are a great lesson in pattern and rhythm. French curves and colored pencils are used to draw colorful versions on construction paper.

3 – 12

African Ceremonial Mask

Studying the rich history of maskmaking in Africa is a perfect way for students to experience the relationship between the process of creating a piece of art, and appreciating the significance it carries

5 – 12

African Embossed Leather Box

Creates African-inspired art by covering paper-maché boxes with Leather Bookcloth. Emboss with patterns and textures and add colorful beads by gluing or stitching.

5 – 12

Asian Banners

Introduce students to calligraphy, ink, folding and dyeing techniques. The end result is a beautiful banner they will be proud to hang up!

3 – 8

Carnival Scratch Art Mask

Explore the history of carnival masks from various cultures. Ornate and colorful masks are easy to create with Scratch Art Film and permanent markers.

K – 8

Chinese Ink Painting

The right tools are essential to a Chinese brush painter. Students will create their own brush holders and ink pots from glazed and fired clay, then learn the basic brush strokes for branches, bamboo leaves.

5 – 12

2009 Totems

Students create a modern-day totem pole with hand-formed clay animals positioned on a wooden dowel.

5 – 8

click to collapse

Grades 9 – 12

 

Grade Level

NEW! Shibori Kimono

Experiment with Japanese paper-dyeing techniques using traditional rice papers, then share papers to create simple origami kimonos. The result is a stunning combination of art and culture.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Wayang Kulit Shadow Puppetry

Tell a story through a traditional Indonesian shadow puppet play! Make a puppet that looks like leather by dampening and crinkling black cardstock, then create interesting patterns with paper punches. Finish with metallic markers and glue to dowels!

K – 12

Block-Print Koinobori

In Japan, Children's Day on May 5th is heralded by the appearance of flying fish: carp-shaped windsocks known as “Koinobori”. In this lesson, students design a “scale”-shaped block from soft block printing material and apply it repetitively to outdoor-safe fabric that has been cut in the shape of a fish. Add details like eyes, fins, and a tail using metallic and sparkle paint, and the Koinobori is ready to hang and “swim” through the breeze!

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Concentric Kirigami

A variation on Japanese Origami, Kirigami is created by folding paper and cutting portions away. This surprisingly uncomplicated relief sculpture is assembled with “rings” cut from double-sided sheets of colorful cardstock. The edges of the rings are folded, cut, unfolded, and layered concentrically (placed around the same center point) to make modern-day Kirigami designs.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

“Gawu” — African Inspired Tapestry

Ghana-born artist El Anatsui is known internationally for his large-scale sculptures called “Gawu,” a composite of the words “ga,” meaning something made of metal and 'wu,” meaning a fashioned garment. In this lesson, students create their own tapestries as a response to El Anatsui's art, using African kente to discover rhythm and pattern in art. Recycled materials can be used, including folded papers and labels.

K – 12
Special Education

My Daruma

A traditional Japanese weighted toy, Daruma always return to an upright position. This project reveals how to weight the bottom of a plastic egg and cover with instant maché to make these symbols of success, determination, and overcoming adversity.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Many Metals “Day of the Dead” Triptych

Celebrate a happy and colorful Mexican tradition with many metals! Using the skull as a symbol of rebirth, create a triptych with embossed metal, papier mâché, and lots of color and sparkle!

Watch the Video

5 – 12

Sumi-e Resist Painting

NOTE! The liquid wax used in this lesson plan is now tinted green. Artwork produced using this process will not look like the examples shown. Practice the ancient art of sumi-e painting with a modern twist! Paint with diluted wax resist, then reveal your masterpiece by applying black sumi-e ink over the top. The addition of watercolor gives the painting even more interest.

Watch the Video

K – 12

Mehndi Art Gloves

Originating in ancient India, Mehndi is the artistic application of designs to the hands and feet. Students can enjoy the practice of Mehndi without staining their skin by creating radial designs in marker while wearing a glove. The sense of touch while creating the design is an important part of the process.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Doodle Dancer

Mehndi, tatau, and modern "ink" - the history of art is incomplete without including the practice of creating decoration on human skin. In this lesson plan, students create a jointed clay marionette and use fine-line markers to cover it with expressive designs.

3 – 12

String Painting

Inspired by Huichol Nierikas — beautiful paintings made from yarn pressed onto beeswax — this is a simple way for students to experience the color, geometric linework and symbolism of this Native American art form. Using colorful string applied to an adhesive-backed piece of felt, students create their designs without messy glue or sharp cutting tools.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Tibetan Wishing Banner

Tibetan wish or prayer flags traditionally are used to promote peace, compassion, strength and wisdom. Tibetans do not believe that the flags carry prayers to the gods, but rather that their messages and wishes will be blown by the wind to spread goodwill and compassion into all-pervading space. In this project, students will use a liquid wax resist that will be painted onto silk rectangles and need not be removed. Vibrant color and a final gold embellishment finish the piece.

2 – 12

Egg-stra Easy Watercolor “Crunch”

Traditionally, eggshell mosaics are made by first dying then positioning each shard individually — a time-consuming and delicate process. This project introduces a new way to crush and color eggshells, creating intricate veining and texture all at once without pre-dying or arranging each fragment. The simple glue-and-paint process and satisfying “crunch!” of breaking eggshells will delight children of all ages and skill levels.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Itajime Decorative Paper

Itajime Shibori is a technique for folding, clamping and dyeing paper or fabric resulting in beautiful designs – very similar to tie-dye. The folds and clamps keep the dye or ink from penetrating fully in certain areas making patterns and giving a dimensional appearance on a flat surface. This project is a great way to teach students the scientific concept of diffusion and color mixing.

3 – 12

Painted “Silk” Shapes

The production and commerce of decorated silk fabrics began thousands of years ago in China. This project introduces fine-mesh polyester as a silk-like fabric for painting. Form a wire shape as a support and paint with transparent liquid acrylic color. Finished pieces are flexible and may be heat-set for outdoor display.

3 – 12

Middle East Reflections

Geometric patterns occur in rich profusion throughout Islamic Cultures. This lesson is an invitation to look at the history and meaning behind patterns and view the work of a contemporary Iranian artist. Students design and assemble a reflective mosaic pattern using metallic papers on adhesive film. Easy and tidy...no glue!

K – 12

Simple Suminagashi Monoprints

Suminagashi is a process in which Sumi ink is floated on the surface of plain water, then transferred to a sheet of paper. Each monoprint is like a fingerprint — unique and unreproducible.

Watch the Video

3 – 12
Special Education

Ostrich Eggshell Mosaic

In Namibia, ostrich eggshells are broken and used in many contemporary art forms. The shapes are often sanded or painted This lesson plan uses small pieces of wood and cardstock to closely resemble the thick shell pieces.

K – 12

Southwest Native American Jewelry

Native Americans used symbols and motifs with deep cultural significance in making jewelry with clay, turquoise, coral, shell, wood and bone. After Spanish explorers brought silversmithing to Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo artists in the 1800's, Southwest jewelry developed into a distinctive art form.

7 – 12

Tie-Dye Shibori Vessel

The ancient Japanese tradition of textile painting known as Shibori entails many techniques and processes including the gathering, wrapping and binding methods that we call "tie-dye" today. This 2-part lesson involves painting and draping stiffened fabric to create a sculptural piece.

7 – 12

Donkey Beads and Bells

Combining clay beadmaking with basic pinch and coil pot construction, students make a musical piece of art.

K – 12

Egyptian Fan

Ancient Egyptians applied gold leaf onto carved wood panels to tell stories and create opulence and on everyday objects. Follow the process these artists used to carve and gild a fan fit for King Tutankhamen.

5 – 12

Canvas Screen

Students use all the elements and principles of design.

8 – 12

Paper Maki-e

Maki-e translates "sprinkle pictures" – the beautiful art of Japanese lacquerware. To achieve a similar look, cut and glue painted papers to a surface and sprinkle with metallic powdered pigments.

5 – 12

Ultimate Paisley Patterns

First seen in Persian fabric design, the signature floral kidney and tear shapes of Paisley prints are a great lesson in pattern and rhythm. French curves and colored pencils are used to draw colorful versions on construction paper.

3 – 12

African Ceremonial Mask

Studying the rich history of maskmaking in Africa is a perfect way for students to experience the relationship between the process of creating a piece of art, and appreciating the significance it carries

5 – 12

African Embossed Leather Box

Creates African-inspired art by covering paper-maché boxes with Leather Bookcloth. Emboss with patterns and textures and add colorful beads by gluing or stitching.

5 – 12

Chinese Ink Painting

The right tools are essential to a Chinese brush painter. Students will create their own brush holders and ink pots from glazed and fired clay, then learn the basic brush strokes for branches, bamboo leaves.

5 – 12

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Special Education

 

Grade Level

“Gawu” — African Inspired Tapestry

Ghana-born artist El Anatsui is known internationally for his large-scale sculptures called “Gawu,” a composite of the words “ga,” meaning something made of metal and 'wu,” meaning a fashioned garment. In this lesson, students create their own tapestries as a response to El Anatsui's art, using African kente to discover rhythm and pattern in art. Recycled materials can be used, including folded papers and labels.

K – 12
Special Education

Mehndi Art Gloves

Originating in ancient India, Mehndi is the artistic application of designs to the hands and feet. Students can enjoy the practice of Mehndi without staining their skin by creating radial designs in marker while wearing a glove. The sense of touch while creating the design is an important part of the process.

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K – 12
Special Education

Egg-stra Easy Watercolor “Crunch”

Traditionally, eggshell mosaics are made by first dying then positioning each shard individually — a time-consuming and delicate process. This project introduces a new way to crush and color eggshells, creating intricate veining and texture all at once without pre-dying or arranging each fragment. The simple glue-and-paint process and satisfying “crunch!” of breaking eggshells will delight children of all ages and skill levels.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Simple Suminagashi Monoprints

Suminagashi is a process in which Sumi ink is floated on the surface of plain water, then transferred to a sheet of paper. Each monoprint is like a fingerprint — unique and unreproducible.

Watch the Video

3 – 12
Special Education

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