Grade Level: 3-5 (with modifications)
Approximate Time: 1 hour, 45 minutesGoal: Students will learn about the early methods of communication used by the Native American tribes. Topic: Students will demonstrate the use of visual arts through making a pictograph stone carving that will resemble an authentic stone carving created by the Native Americans for use in communication. Objectives:
Pictograph Stone Carving: Pictures and symbols carved in stone.
Carving: Using some kind of tool to cut into an object to form an image.
2. One student from each table will be assigned to get supplies for all group members.
3. Students break off the sides of the Styrofoam sheet to create irregular edges.
4. Students paint Styrofoam surface lightly with peach tempera paint
5. Let dry (*hint- If students finish early they can create their own symbols for new words)
6. While waiting for the Styrofoam to dry, students will take turns role playing (communicating), with a partner, using Native American hand signs.
7. When Styrofoam is dry students return to their desks and take out a carving tool.
8. Using a pencil or blunt object (such as the end of a paint brush), students etch out a variety of Indian symbols to create a story or message.
9. Using a paint brush, students paint brown inside the etched lines to outline each symbol.
10. Using various colors of acrylic paint, students paint each symbol within the brown lines.
11. If desired, brown paint can be wiped around the sides of the Styrofoam to create an "aged" appearance. (*hint- Students who finish early can write a message using new symbols they have created)
Closure: (20 minutes)
Students will pair-share for twelve minutes. Students will pair up with one member of their group and have four minutes to translate each others message (two minutes for each partner). Then, students will rotate partners and continue the same procedure until each student has met with three different people and have translated each others pictograph stone carvings. Next, the teacher will ask for volunteers to share their pictograph stone carvings with the class as a whole. Students will ask for volunteers to translate their messages. Last, as a group, students will volunteer or be called upon to describe their experiences and discuss what they liked most about the pictograph stone carving. They will also describe what they found to be the most difficult part of the activity and what could be done to make it easier. Students will have an opportunity to give their opinions about pictograph stone carving and discuss the pros and cons of this form of communication. Students will also be asked why the Native Americans used pictograph stone carving as their early form of communication.
Clean-up: (10 minutes)
Clean up will be assigned by tables. I will call students by tables (of four) to put their pictographs on a side counter out of the way so they can be displayed later. Then, One student from each table will pick up the paint brushes and go to the sink and clean them and put them away. Another student from each table will put away the spray paint. The third student at each table will clean and put away all of the acrylic paint. Finally, the fourth student at each table will wipe down the table with paper towels and make sure the work area is clean. These same students will also make sure all counters are clean.
Evaluation: Students present their pictograph stone carvings that demonstrate the use of symbols from their handout and are able to correctly decode the message. This allows the teacher to assess whether the students related the correct symbol-word correspondences. Students not presenting at the time will be asked to determine if the correct symbols are represented in the message or story. This allows the teacher to assess whether the students in the audience understand the symbol-word correspondences and whether the students have actually learned to communicate in another "language." Students write a reflection on the experience and discuss the effective/ ineffective use of pictograph stone carving and why it was used. By having the students write a reflection, the teacher is able to assess whether the students understand what pictograph stone carving is, why it was used by the Native Americans and whether it was effective.
Styrofoam sheet: 10Sx12Sx1/2S
Pale peach tempera paint
Acrylic paint in assorted primary colors
Paint brushes for each student
Pencil or paint brushes (blunt-end object) for carving
Containers for water to rinse paint brushes
Native American Cooperative Learning Activities by Susan Schneck
Copies for entire class of Native American signs and pictures
Pictures of Native American pictograph stone carvings