Thursday, October 21, 2010

3rd Grade Lascaux Cave Paintings

How can artwork from the past explain traditions and beliefs of the cultures that lived then?


3rd grade creates artwork based on their knowledge of a "Timeline of Art" which continues in 4th grade. 3rd grade starts their timeline in 15,000 BC with the discovery of cave paintings of animals.

In 1940, a group of French boys stumbled upon the opening of a cave in Lascaux, France. Inside the cave they found drawings of animals all over the walls. It was later discovered that these drawings were from around 15,000 BC. The drawings were larger than the animals depicted and some were even etched into the rocks.

Using brown paper to resemble a cave wall, students drew their depictions of deer, bison, wild cats, aurochs and many other animals found inside the caves. The catch is that they had to depict a story through their drawings. They were asked to pretend to be a cave artist. Why would they crawl into a dark cave to draw a picture? What would they want to communicate by doing so? Would they be telling a story and if so, what would it be?

Students wrote short stories pretending to be a cave artist and explaining their reasons for painting on the cave walls as a conclusion to this lesson.

Thank you Danny Moyer (my rockin' co-op) from Whitehall-Coplay MS (now at the HS) for this fab idea!

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