“Suddenly the sky was filled with Sacred Dogs of all colors and the boy could never count their number. Their galloping was like the wind and the drumming of their hoofbeats shook the hilltop on which he stood.”
-The Gift of the Sacred Dog by Paul Goble
During our Native American cultures focus for Cultural Heritage Week, Kindergarten students listened to "The Gift of the Sacred Dog" by Paul Goble, which tells the legend of how horses came to be with the Plains Indians. We tried out some really basic text methods from one of our Common Core PD sessions (making predictions, backing up answers with the text) and when our story was finished, we looked at a really cool painting by Crow artist, Kevin Red Star called Kingfisher's Spirit Ponies. Red Star's painting helped us see the kinds of lines and shapes used to make horses, and how the artist made his horses colorful, just like the sacred dogs in the book.
After the discussion, I did a quick demo showing how to make a horse with simple shapes, but did not direct the students' drawings. This meant that lots of the "sacred dogs" looked more like dogs than horses, but I'm ok with that. It was the first drawing assignment my Kinders had so it helped me see how they see things, and what I could focus on to help them.
The students chose a piece of construction paper to draw from (I pulled out a "multicultural" pack so they had a variety of tans and browns to choose from), and after they drew in pencil and traced with sharpie, construction paper crayons were used to add color. The students chose the composition, number, size, and color(s) of their horses, as well as if the background would be a realistic setting or a colorful, stylized setting. These horses sure do have personality!