Preschoolers & the Study of Prehistoric Cave Art!

LITTLE KIDS LOVE ANCIENT CAVE ART

I really love the Ancient Art found in caves all over the world and I discovered that 4 yr olds do too!
The "Bison" art painted on the walls of the Caves of Lascaux in Southern France is probably the most famous. Here's a link to read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lascaux


These caves were discovered in 1940 by a boy who was out exploring. Children love to hear the story and when I tell them the art was created more than 17,000 years ago...they begin to relate. "Oh, the caveman days!" 

I've developed a fun little lesson to go along with the study of this famous ancient cave art.
Supplies:
  • Art paper
  • Photo example of "The Bison", that shows the contours of the cave itself (lots of examples on Google images)
  • Construction paper suitable for tearing
  • Soft pastels (chalk pastels)
  • Cloth rag or paper towel
  • Oil pastels
  • Plastic animal model (preferably a bison or buffalo)
You can find all of these at many craft & art supply stores (Michaels, of course), but I like this on-line supplier best:

First, we have a little discussion about the picture of "The Bison" and the way you can see the lines of texture in the wall of the cave. 

1. Invite the children to create the background of their picture first by creating the "walls of the cave" by first making a stencil from torn paper



2. Tear the construction paper so there is a ragged edge (this is the "stencil".)




3. Use the chalk pastels to color along the torn edge of the stencil...use lots of chalk!




4. Transfer the stencil to the piece of art paper, and hold the stencil in place with one hand.

5. With the index finger of the other hand, rub along the colored edge of the stencil so that the chalk smears over on to the art paper (be sure to keep the stencil still by holding it in place at all times!)




6. This process can be done several times, holding the stencil at different angles and different locations on the art paper (usually 3 or 4 different rubbings look great) and it's fun to tear other stencils for each color of chalk pastel  the child plans to use.



7. When the background is to the child's liking, then take a rag or paper towel and place it over the drawing and carefully "blot" any excess chalk dust, or take it to the trash and gently shake off the excess. (This step is not always necessary)



8. Next, place the plastic animal replica on the art table in the child's view and say, "We'll use this as a model for drawing the bison" (Many children want to actually trace around the animal figure and that is okay, too)




9. Use the oil pastels to draw the bison and to color in details



This activity is one that I will be featuring in the Art Workshop-Playshop that I am teaching on Saturday, April 11th at the Muse in Willits, CA. For more information, click here: Art Workshop Details & Registration


Looking forward to seeing lots of families there!

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2 comments :

  1. I love this technique! I have never seen this before. It's definitely going on our Art activity list! Thank you for sharing!

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad you like it, Anastasia! It's pretty easy and the children do have fun with it. I personally love chalk pastels and work with them a lot. Love hearing your reaction.

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