My SMART goal this year is about Kindergarten students being able to identify and draw the basic geometric shapes that are covered at their grade level (square, rectangle, circle, ellipse, triangle). I have taught (or my sub taught) a lesson based on each shape. For triangles, I thought about the pyramids in Egypt and decided to introduce them to my students. Some students told me they already knew about the pyramids thanks to Scooby Doo...
I made a PowerPoint to introduce Egyptian culture and Art. First, I showed a map of Egypt and we talked about how it's on the other side of the world and you could not walk or drive there. I included slides with pictures of some cool architecture, the Nile, animals you might see (camel for transportation in the desert, Nile Crocodile), palm trees, heiroglyphs, ancient pottery, etc. I asked the students to identify the shape of the pyramids and they all knew they are shaped like a triangle.
I showed the students how to draw a triangle and how to add a horizon line so it would not be a floating pyramid. They added other details to their drawings and traced with a black crayon. I had printed off some pictures from the PPT so they could be used for reference.
In the next class, the students painted with watercolors to create a wax-resist. When I used watercolors with students last fall, I was glad I used the cheaper paint sets because the colors got all sorts of messed up. This time, I made a big deal about letting them use the nice new paints if they could promise to do a really good job of cleaning their brushes before switching colors. It worked! They did a better job taking care of the paints than some of my older students. As they were working, instead of replacing the blue which we all know runs out before all the other colors, I told the students to find other colors to use for their skies. We ended up with some nice sunset or night scenes.
I told the students we were making imagined scenes using the information they learned: I know there is more to Egypt than pyramids and I didn't want to trivialize a whole culture!