In fifth grade art class, students will study narratives, or visual stories, throughout history. Our first unit begins with the cave paintings found in Lascaux, France. The paintings are some of the world's earliest art examples.
Each class brainstormed how the paintings were made, and what the purpose may have been for creating them. We discussed how some art is created to communicate a story. All of the units we will study in fifth grade focus on the concept of art and narrative.
Below is a video we watched to introduce the Caves of Lascaux.
After watching the video and describing images of the cave paintings, students were ready to create their own. They were instructed to choose an animal for a mixed-media artwork inspired by the cave paintings.
We began with a watercolor background. Students were encouraged to mix and blend colors. Next, students painted a separate sheet of paper in the main color of their animal using tempera paint. Once the paint was dry, students used a pencil to draw their animal on the painted page. They cut the animal out and glued the shape to their watercolor background.
Details were added to the animals using oil pastels. Some students added textures and additional details to the background.
Once the artwork was completed, students were asked to write a story about their animal. Throughout the year, fifth grade students will be asked to communicate a visual narrative with each project.
(Below are examples of student work from 2013)
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