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Elementary [1st-5th] Lesson Plan

Indian Elephants

Created on November 09, 2014 by KatieMorris

Students learn about Indian art and culture, specifically Indian elephants and block printed textiles before making art inspired by the two.

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3 sessions; 40 minutes per session

1. SWBAT understand the printmaking process and its use in Indian textiles.
2. SWBAT cut shapes to create a stamp design.
3. SWBAT utilize good craftsmanship in printing their stamps.
4. SWBAT create a simple pattern with their stamps.
5. SWBAT draw a picture of an Indian elephant.
6. SWBAT utilize good craftsmanship in coloring, cutting out, and gluing their elephant drawings to printed papers.

1. Small squares or rectangles of cardboard (around 1-2 inches).
2. Craft foam
3. Glue (bottled is the most secure but glue sticks work in a pinch)
4. Scissors
5. Pencils
6. 9x12 inch construction paper, variety of colors
7. 6x9 inch white drawing paper
8. Sharpies
9. Crayons or colored pencils
10. Tempera paint
11. Paintbrushes

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1. Introduction
-Briefly talk about India, show location on map
-Explain that art is infused into Indian culture
-Block printed textiles from India are very beautiful and detailed. Explain and look at pictures of fabric and printing process.
2. Show how to make a stamp with cardboard and foam (instead of carving wood like most of the blocks from India.) Remind students that they have to cut shapes instead of lines. "Lines" can be made by cutting very thin shapes.
3. Students cut foam shapes, check with teacher, and then glue to cardboard when approved.
4. Print stamps
-Students choose construction paper
-Use paintbrush to apply black tempera to stamps (this helps my students not get too much)
-Start in a corner and stamp along edges first.
-Talk about how rotating or flipping the stamp can create a different kind of pattern.
-Filling in middle is optional. Just printing a "frame" also looks nice.
5. Introduce Indian elephants
-Look at pictures of Indian elephants and artwork including elephants
-Elephants were the traditional mode of transportation for Indian royalty
6. Make elephants
-Students draw Indian elephants on 6x9 inch white paper
-Trace pencil drawings with sharpie
-Color elephants with crayons or colored pencils
7. Cut out elephants
-Remind students to turn the paper, not their scissor hand, and to be careful with dangly parts like the tail and trunk
8. Glue elephants in center of printed papers

I assessed student work based on craftsmanship, composition, and pattern.

1. Indian Block Printing Pinterest board
2. Indian Elephants Pinterest board

My 2nd graders enjoyed this project and older students would as well. I've made stamps with Kindergarten before but they would likely struggle with the cutting.


Visual Arts Standard 1:
Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes

[K-4] Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories
[K-4] Students use art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner
[K-4] Students know the differences between materials, techniques, and processes

Visual Arts Standard 2:
Using knowledge of structures and functions

[K-4] Students use visual structures and functions of art to communicate ideas
[K-4] Students describe how different expressive features and organizational principles cause different responses

Visual Arts Standard 3:
Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas

[K-4] Students explore and understand prospective content for works of art

Visual Arts Standard 4:
Understanding the visual arts in relation to history and cultures

[K-4] Students know that the visual arts have both a history and specific relationships to various cultures
[K-4] Students identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places
[K-4] Students demonstrate how history, culture, and the visual arts can influence each other in making and studying works of art

Visual Arts Standard 5:
Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others

[K-4] Students understand there are various purposes for creating works of visual art

Visual Arts Standard 6:
Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines

[K-4] Students identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum

Line, Rhythm/Pattern, Shape

Collage, Printmaking

Math, Multicultural Studies