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Lesson 1

Lesson 2
Social Studies

Lesson 3
Visual Arts
Art Making

Lesson 4
Black History

Lesson 5
Black Artists

Lesson 6
Music & Dance

Lesson 7


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Paul Hillman

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Lesson Three: Art Making Activity

Materials Needed:

  1. Tree branches trimmed, free of sharp points and (depending upon the age of the student) easily manipulated. No larger than about 12 inches in length and 1 " in diameter.
  2. Beads of varying sizes and material composition
  3. Synthetic sinew, ribbon, yarn, string, embroidery thread
  4. Feathers and other embellishing elements of choice
  5. Cloth material of many colors and designs
  6. Colored wire of various sizes
  7. Colored markers
  8. Hot glue gun to be used by teacher only
  9. Scissors

Student Activities facilitated by the teacher:

  • The students have already researched the ancestor or super hero they would like this art making project to represent.
  • The art history and art inquiry have been presented to these students in the first block of time.
  • A teacher example of a wooden, beaded form is to be shown and discussed.

  • The materials being used will be presented and demonstrated as to how they can be applied to the wooden branch. The branch can be in one strong section or have two arms, two legs or multiple combinations of arms and legs. The wooden form can be clothed and embellished with its forked branches as feet or turned upside down and created with up raised arms.
  • Application of materials is strictly personal. Children should be instructed to "Do their own thing"! (Don't worry about what the youth sitting on either side is doing.)

The length of this activity will depend upon the participant's ability to layer embellishing materials and their patience. Students should be encouraged to keep adding to the tree branch until it takes on an essence of its own "Life Force".

Music from Africa would be ideal to be playing in the background. Again, material forms, called artworks in western culture, do not come out of isolated spaces free from other arts stimulation. Many times, they come out of ceremony and ritual.

Once the beaded, wooden forms have been created a reflection of the total process needs to guided and written by each participant. Some of the students may choose to read their comments. (Scheduling should be provided for this activity as a third block of time.)

Have the students answer these questions as best as possible. Before they do create a word list review that may help students remember and better articulate their understanding of the lesson.

Please write these words on the chalkboard and discuss them before the reflection occurs:

  • Yoruba Culture
  • "Life Force" -vital force
  • Ancestors
  • Ritual and ceremony
  • Beads and Beadwork
  • Symbols (color, shapes and design elements)
  • Representational forms symbolizing ideas and beliefs

Questions for students to answer in a written statement:

  1. Name their wood and beaded form
  2. Whom does it represent?
  3. Meaning of the symbolism of the choice of materials, beads, colors used to create their artwork.
  4. What culture does it come from?
  5. What did you learn from this art history, art inquiry and art making project in one paragraph.

A community exhibition of the wood and beaded forms, along with their reflections, should be arranged to honor the students' artistic creations and writings.