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By: Jane Stricker for Sargent Art
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Students will learn about art as a cultural and historical record with this lesson from Sargent Art. Students will explore the culture of early time, Prehistoric, meaning art dating back to the time before people kept written records, to see that the need to create has always been a driving human force.
Target Grade: 3
Goal (Terminal Objective): Students will understand that artworks record a way of life and define a culture. Students will define Prehistoric art as art dating back to the time before people kept written records. They will understand that the earliest art works date back to the Old Stone Age (30,000 until about 10,000 BC).
Purpose: Students will become aware of the historical impact of discoveries in the caves of Altamira, Spain and Lascaux, France. These paintings are remarkable similar to prehistoric paintings form many other parts of the world. Students will understand the various purposes cave paintings were created such as to bring good luck in hunting, increasing animal population, or to celebrate various rituals. The paintings were large, covered walls and ceilings, and were created and seen by torchlight. Cave dwellers probably used soot and colored clay or other natural pigments mixed with animal oils for a paint medium. Brushes may be been made from animal hairs or sticks.
New Vocabulary: culture, outline, earth colors, Stone Age, Prehistoric, pigments, artifact, Archaeologist, Anthropologist, Paleontologist
Time: This lesson may be modified from one to five hours, depending upon the size and complexity of expectations.
Introduction and Motivation (Set):
6. Students carefully apply Sargent white glue to the interior back and sides of the shoe box.
8. Students paint Sargent white glue onto the floor or base of the shoe box and cover the glue with sand.
10. Using small bits of Sargent Sculpt It, students will create small bones to glue to the floor of the cave diorama.
11. Students will create a cave person out of Sargent Sculpt It.
(Students may use celluclay to cover the outside of the shoe box to replicate a stone cave.)
(2) Independent Practice and Check for Understanding: Teacher circulates among working students visually recording students demonstrating understanding of objectives and provides reinforcement.
(3) Closure: Students record details and relate those details to Prehistoric history. Students will include innovations they provided to the piece in their sketchbook.
Level Two -- The finished Prehistoric diorama conveys an image of prehistoric life and adheres to several of the lesson objectives. There is a good use of color to replicate the natural pigments used by cave artists. There is a good use of stylization in the outlining of the cave animals. There is good sculpting of the cave person. There are at least four details added to the cave floor and/or environment. The student is able to describe various details in his or her cave diorama. Good craftsmanship is observed in the completed diorama.
Level Three --The finished Prehistoric diorama conveys an image of prehistoric life and adheres to at least two of the lesson objectives. There is some evidence of use of color to replicate the natural pigments used by cave artists. There is some evidence of stylization in the outlining of the cave animals. There is moderate sculpting of the cave person. There are at least two details added to the cave floor and/or environment. Some effort at craftsmanship is observed in the completed diorama.
Level Four -- The finished Prehistoric diorama somewhat conveys an image of prehistoric life and adheres to at least one of the lesson objectives. There is no use of color to replicate the natural pigments used by cave artists. There is no use of stylization in the outlining of the cave animals. There are poor sculpting techniques of the cave person. There are no details added to the cave floor and/or environment.
Extension: Students might speculate on how archaeologists date cave paintings and other artifacts. Students may research online carbon-14 dating and other tools archaeologists use to investigate Prehistoric life. Students may write a short paragraph that describes a day in the life of their cave person.