Third graders are learning about artwork from many places all over the world in our unit, Art from Many Cultures. We've been discussing the question, “Why is it important to learn about art from other cultures?” The students have come up with many amazing answers. We are also exploring why artwork looks different in different parts of the world.
Using their imaginations, the third grade students traveled to the Central American country of Panama to learn about the Kuna tribe’s colorful Mola creations. As a bonus, they learned about the Panama Canal! Molas are made from fabric by the women of the Kuna tribe and sewn onto their clothing. To create the Mola, third grade learned about positive and negative shapes that exist in our world. They chose from many animals that can be found in the Panama Rainforest. By cutting, they layered many colors of paper to build their works of art. We spent several classes working to increase skills in cutting and contour drawing. The last step was to paint a pattern onto the original black layer of the artwork. The students had an incredible time mixing paint and discovered how to make some amazing “new” colors. I think we used almost every mixing tray in the art room! Please come to Stearns Hall to enjoy all the Mola Artwork on display.
Currently, we are exploring Blue Willow Porcelain Artwork that takes its inspiration from a fable that is said to have been told in Chinese culture for hundreds of years. The students have heard the story and watched an animation of a plate coming to life to tell the tale. There are some accounts that say this story was actually written more recently to promote sales of the famous Blue Willow Porcelain pottery in Europe in the 1800’s. Third graders are learning how the over many years Chinese artists use ground cobalt pigment to create beautiful glazes to create the Blue Willow Pattern. They also learned that Porcelain was one of the main exports of the Chinese Empire, and a major source of its wealth. Our continued use of the word “China” to describe porcelain and pottery shows how important it has been to China’s economy historically.
The students are designing their own stories by using the animals of the Chinese Zodiac for their inspiration. We reviewed the idea of creating patterns, learned the concept of radial Symmetry and are finding successful ways to illustrate a scene from their story. The students have enjoyed creating their own original story incorporating the animals of their choosing. I’m excited to see their finished Blue Willow Paintings!
Please let me know if you have any questions about your child’s experience in art class!
Art Shirts! We need to replace our art shirts since they are very old and most students do not want to wear them. If you have any T-shirts at home to donate, please send them our way!
Thank you for reading,
- Sarah Harpole