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Monday, May 7, 2012

Welcome 32,000 BC! 

 I am so excited about this new art experience I just created for my students.  I brought in an exhibition about cave art from so that the whole school can be taught a unit about prehistoric art.  I wanted the kids to really experience rock art the way that it is meant to be experienced, the way that the artist originally painted the art.  That is to say, not on a flat surface, and in a cave.

 Here is how I made a cave for my students.  Starting at the art room door I hung sheets from the ceiling using clothes pins and string, to basically make I giant sheet tent.  (kind of like at home when my kids and I need to make a fort).  Then I put a digital projector on the floor in the back of the rectangular tent and angled it up to project on the walls and ceiling on the tent.  the uneven surface of the sheets clothe-pinned together was very effective.  I found that the structure of the tent needed to be wider towards the back so that there weren't big shadows cast.  There is an awesome website that is a virtual tour of Lascaux.  [Note: on PC computer the F11 key will hide the Internet tool bar, making the virtual experience even cooler] The virtual tour only lasts about 10 minutes and that's if you click and explore all of the different images available.  To make the experience last I put together a slide show of prehistoric art from around the world, which lasts about another 15 minutes.  This has been a great end of the year activity.  Next week I'm going to line the halls with crumpled up butcher paper and let the kids make drawings using charcoal and chalk pastels, then they can sign there art with a hand print.  That way I can take down and pass back all of the artwork, without leaving the walls of the school hallways bare for the last 2 weeks of the year.