Pippi from Australia writes. . . Dear Art Expert: I am a primary school teacher in Australia and DESPERATELY need an art activity to include as part of a whole school four week unit. Got any good ideas for small groups that are exciting, different, and reasonably inexpensive????? THANKS for your request. I will try to help and if you send your school's address to me via e-mail, I will send you a copy of common Native American symbols to use with the projects below. . . Native American Faux Leather Projects Basic Faux Leather Recipe Material Needed: Large Brown Shopping Bags or Brown Postal Paper Wet Sponge Method: Children should first wipe the shopping/grocery bag with a wet sponge to soften paper. Very little water should be used. Next, ask the children to crumple the shopping bag into a large ball. The crumpling process softens the paper and creates the appearance of faux leather. The process is lots of fun for children and takes about 5-7 minutes. Children should be cautioned to fold or crumple the paper some- what gently since the paper has a tendancy to tear if handled too roughly when wet. The end result will be a textural surface similar to suede or softened rawhide. The following projects can be made from the Faux Leather. #1-Buffalo Storytelling Cloth The early Native Americans used Buffalo Hides to tell stories of their hunting adventure. This project encourages children to use their imaginations to create narrative art works that utilize Native American symobols. First, tear an irregular shape of Faux Leather from your supply of "rawhide." 2. Punch Holes with a One Hole Puncher on the sides of the "Buffalo Hide," and insert dangling suede leather laces or use paper bag strips to create leather-like strips. 3. Create a story about your adventures and illustrate this adventure using only pictographs, and colors-symbolically. 4. Share the stories that you have created with other members of your class. #2-Arrow (Pencil) Canister Every Brave needs a place to store important papers and this Native American carry along is a fun and easy project. You will need a paper towel cardboard holder for this project. 1. Cut or tear a piece of faux leather from your supply. 2. Wrap a piece of Faux Leather around an empty paper towel roll, leaving a long enough piece at one end to fold and staple closed. The Faux Leather piece should be long enough that it extends at least two inches from the top of the empty paper towel roll after you have wrapped it. This excess will be cut in strips after you glue the initial piece to the empty paper towel roll. Cut this excess into Faux Leather fringe. 3. Punch a hole into both ends and string a piece of jute long enough to create a handle for your canister. 4. Glue feathers or leaves to canister, paint or color with Native American pictographs. 5. Now you've got a place to store pencils. #3-Native American Beads are fun and easy to create. Use old magazines for this project. 1. Cut strips of magazines into 2" x 6" strips. 2. Fold the strips into circular motion using a popsicle stick or wooden dowel as a base for creating a circular bead. 3. Glue strips at the ends. 4. String "bead" using yarn or jute. #4-Native American Vest This is the most popular of the Native American Projects 1. Using a grocery bag with the large flap in front, cut the center straight up until you reach the large flap. 2. Cut a round half circle through the flap area to form a collar for your vest. 3. Next open up the sides of the paper bag and cut two arm holes one on each side of the bag. 4. Turn the paper vest "inside-out," and crumple the vest until it looks like leather. 5. Use beads, feathers, leaves, and pictographs to embellish the vest. 6. Cut holes in the front of the vest with the paper hole punch and tightly tie pieces of jute from hole openings. Let the pieces of jute dangle from the vest. #5-Native American Sand Paintings A no mess unique Native American sand "painting." 1. Using crayons "paint" Native American symbols and stories onto 4" x 4" pieces of sandpaper. 2. Cut specific symbols into small square and attach a magnet to the back for refrigerator magnets. 3. Share your story with your classmates.
TEACHERS FROM AROUND THE WORLD Do you have a favorite art project that says a lot about your area of the world. Share your favorite holiday ideas, or projects unique to your part of the world. Send art ideas to Art Teacher on the Net and I will publish them on this site. firstname.lastname@example.org