Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Precious Ganesh

So one of the most beloved stories in Indian culture is of Ganesha, the little boy with four arms and an elephants head. If you're like my son, you've seen him as a statue or his picture above the door walking out of your favorite restaurant.

Ganesh is the "overcomer of obstacles" the one you count on as a helper. He carries an axe, (for chopping away problems), food (as a offering or snack), a lotus flower (symbolizing new beginninsg and rebirth) and hold his fourth hand up in blessing. He also rides around on a mouse... so look for his little friend in artwork of Ganesha!

My 4th and 5th graders are making awesome puppets in the form of Ganesha. Starting with posterboard, we trace 8 seperate pieces of Ganesha's body....then decorate the pieces and trace over with sharpie marker.

Using crayons, we color in the designs and cut out each piece.

Even wonder what you can use old-school brass fasteners for? Here ya go.... We punch holes and join the arms and legs to the body with the brads, and complete our puppet with a popsicle stick handle.

Voila! A dancing Ganesha.

India's Diwali Rangoli

Okay, I know, That's a mouthful! As if Indian culture isn't beautiful enough with the gorgeous color and design, they also have a festival that is the "Festival of Lights." A festival devoted to "pushing the darkness out of our lives and embracing the light..." Well, that's something I can buy into.

During Diwali, designs called Rangoli are drawn on the floor of homes. This radially symmetrical design can be made with sawdust, flower petals or chalk and usually has oil lamps surrounding it.

To begin our rangoli, we fold our paper into quadrants (ding, ding, math word!) and draw a circle in the center where the lines intersect (ding ding, math word!). We then add different shapes that are radially symmetrical (ding, ding... again?)

After our drawing is complete we use a black sharpie to outline. I started using chalk and quickly realized it would smear too easily.....

Construction paper crayons or fluorescent chalk finishes the Rangoli.

Just because we enjoyed the printmaking in K and 1 so much, we stamped a background paper, and cut out our Rangoli and mounted it on the stamped paper.


Friday, August 21, 2015

Welcome Back...again!

After a brief (cough cough) hiatus, Tiny Talent is up and running again! This year I find myself at 3 schools, teaching around 1,300 kids. Do the math on that one... ha! So forgive me if my posts are slacking in details and frequency.... I'm doing my best, y'all!

We are revisiting cultures, celebrations and festivals around the world this year. I selfishly love teaching these lessons... because they really fascinate me! Kinders and first grade started the year out with India's Parade of Painted Elephants!

Here's a great article about the Parade from National Geographic:

Step One was viewing images on the activboard of elephants decorated for the Parade and drawing our own! We use a template for the outline to ensure our elephant is BIG....

Depending on the school and the availability of supplies, we used gray construction paper or white paper... and the faded out really gross lavender or light blue construction paper works great too!

After drawing and tracing with sharpies, we used construction paper crayons to color in the elephants.

At lastly, we used a super cool printmaking method, (using cardboard wrapped in yarn) to stamp patterns on a brightly colored sheet of construction paper.

After the paint dried, we cut out the elephants and glue them down to the fabulous background.

I'm in LOVE.