Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Aboriginal Art

My 1st graders created these awesome images after learning a little bit about Aboriginal Art.
First, each student got a brown piece of craft paper (I just picked a random size. Didn't even measure it out.) Then they were instructed to tear around the edges to create a more uneven, natural look to replicate tree bark. Lastly, I had them crumple up there paper and flatten it back out at least 10 times (they loved doing that part and were almost hesitant at first).Now that their "bark" is ready, the used pencils to draw the outline of one animal in the middle of their paper. The animal should be bigger than a balled up fist . . . this student up above did more than one, but I didn't stop them because it turned out wonderful! She was very ambitious.
After they are done with their drawing, I had them trace it with a black permanent marker and then fill in the middle with black tempera paint.
Then came the most tedious part . . . the dots! I gave them three colors to choose from and q-tips. They started with one color at a time and began making rows of dots closest to the animal first. They alternaed colors for each row and repeated this until their entire paper was full. If they had time, they painted a border using black tempera paint.
I've done this project three times now, but changing the technique and mediums each time. This probably was my favorite method and for the students as well.


  1. Thanks so much for this, Shelly. I found it on Pinterest and used it when we just studied Australian history this week. I was only doing it with my 2 kids so we used the end of a paintbrush, but a Q Tip is a great idea if you're working with a big group! I love how your pictures turned out.

  2. I hope the kids enjoyed it! I"m glad you were able to try it out. I have fun with this one too :)

  3. Hi Shelly the pictures are great, I'm just wondering did you give the children templates for the animals because they turned out so good? Thanks, Ciara

    1. I gave them a handout that had 10 animal pictures on it. I choose drawings of animals that were simplified so it would be a little easier to draw from. Several students choose to do their own animal without looking at the handout which was great too.