My 6h grade African-inspired Art lesson was based on kangas, a garment popular in part of Eastern Africa. I read something that compared kangas to t-shirts because they can express lots of different ideas. The kanga information website that seemed the most authentic is Swahili Language and Culture. From my research, I found that the basics to a kanga design are a wide, even border (1), a central design (2), and some sort of saying (3). I showed the students images of kangas from SLC and my favorite is below. Some of the sayings would probably be easier to get the true meaning of if we were part of that culture, though I've read that they can have many different interpretations.
After discussing some of the kangas we saw, the students brainstormed idioms that they were familiar with. I was really impressed with how many different idioms they thought of! -I love idioms, so many possibilities for Art and Writing connections! The idea was basically to start with some sort of idiom or other saying, think of a simple illustration that could be drawn to illustrate the saying, and then design a pattern in the border.
|My example at completion of the pencil/Sharpie step.|