Sunday, November 8, 2009

Navajo Rug Paintings

All of the artwork was made by kindergarten students!

Resources to consider: Brief history of Navajo Weaving. I always ask the librarian to gather books for me to 'keep in the room as a reference. Also, I have included some photos at the end of actual Navajo Weavings that were taken at the Philbrook Tulsa Art Museum in 2007.
Intended Grade Level(s): K-2
Estimated Class Period(s): 3
Materials Required: 12X18 white paper at least #80 weight, triangle, diamond tracers, examples of blankets, woven designs, artifacts, information on Native American symbol and weavings, scissors, pencils, posters

Goals & Objectives: The goals of this lesson are to use a variety of colors and tempera paint with control, use shapes and lines in a composition. This lesson could easily be adapted to district objectives and cross curricular goals.
GLEs Accomplished In Lesson:
Kindergarten PP 1.A Produce a line using crayon, pencil, or marker EP 1.A Identify and use lines 1.B Identify and use shapes I.E Identify and use color
1st Grade PP 1.B Apply paint with a dragging, not pushing motion EP 1.A Identify and use straight, curved, thick and thin lines 1.B Identify and use triangle, circle, square, rectangle and oval shapes 2.A Identify and demonstrate the concept of middle or center AP 2.A Identify the following in artworks: lines, shapes, colors, patterns
2nd Grade PP 1.B. Paint lines with control of the brush, Clean paint brush before changing colors EP 1.A. Identify and use zig-zag, dotted, and wavy lines 1.B. Identify and use geometric shapes EP 2.D identify and create a complex pattern
AP 2.A. Explain how Native American art reflects the habitats, resources an daily lives of Woodland and
Plains Indians
Compare and contrast the habitats, resources and daily lives of Woodland and Plains Indians

Procedure (Guided Lesson, Instructions, etc):
FYI Second graders study Woodland and Plains Indians so if you do this unit at the same time that the classroom teachers are covering Native Americans, be specific that NAVAJO Indians are from the Southwest, they are the most famous for creating weavings, their culture is different than Native Americans that live other places. This could be a good time to compare and contrast the Navajo with the Woodland and/or Plains Indians
Project (Steps, Examples, etc):
1. Introduce Native American culture. Show examples of Navajo weavings (review for 2nd grade or an introduction if they will be weaving paper soon). When I introduce the lesson, I provide information that refers what students are learning about in their regular ed. classroom. The main focus would be culture and symbols for 2nd grade and lines and shape for Kindergarten.
2. Demonstrate how students will trace shapes on their paper to make a design that looks similar to a Navajo Rug. Students will trace the shape in pencil and write their name on the back of the paper. Younger students may need to help each other hold the shape in place on the paper so it doesn’t move while they are tracing it. Older students should use more lines and more complex patterns in their design. I keep the kindergarten students to a very limited and structured design, diamond in the middle, triangles in the corners and lines in the middle.
3. After students have drawn their design and I have assisted the ones that need a little bit of help. I demonstrate how they will use temper paint with 2-3 colors only the first week. I also show how they will clean up. The entire painting will not be finished today, only 2-3 shapes/lines. I also demonstrate how the paint looks if the colors get mixed accidentally! Sometimes tempera paint looks bad when 2 colors mix (like blue and red doesn’t make a very pretty purple) I show them what to do if the paint drips on their paper in a spot accidentally: they put a big dot of the correct color on top or leave it for next week and they can touch it up later.
4. Students will put their painting in the drying rack.

Week 2
1. Review information about Native Americans from last week.
2. Demonstrate how students will finish painting the shapes on their paper so that no white is showing. I stress that they should make sure to go back and touch up any spots that they accidentally leave white. Demonstrate how they will paint over their original pencil lines with black paint being careful not to swoop their brush across wet spots. This can make a big mess out of their paper.
3. At the very end, pass out black paint. Students will carefully paint their (now invisible) pencil lines. (this step could even be saved for the 3rd week for younger students if you are worried about the black making a mess if it mixes with the other colors)
4. After students put picture in the drying rack, they will have a little bit of time after clean up to look at Native American books or to create a drawing on a free sheet. Remind them to be careful not to let colors mix.
1. After the painting is completely dry, before sending the artwork home or hanging it up for an art display, demonstrate how students will use scissors to snip the short ends of the paper so that their ‘rug’ looks more like it has been woven. Stress that they should only snip the short sides for fringe, do not cut anything else up!

Assessment and Reflection: Students will design the Navajo Rug Tempera Painting based on a teacher created rubric as it aligns with district objectives and goals. Students should be able to complete the drawing and painting with little or no teacher assistance and the finished product should have good craftsman ship and details appropriate to the grade level.

Here is an actual weaving on a loom:

Here is a Native American symbol plate, possibly a Thunderbird:
Here is some Navajo Pottery. It might be neat to follow the painting with a clay lesson and base the project around the black and white pottery designs:

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