What if we told you we transformed a child's play environment into the most glorious magnificent playroom with a little brown paper, a few sticks, a couple pebbles, and some brown mud? With the right direction and a little imagination, it was possible. Read on to see what we did!
Our art project was Cave Wall Art. We began imagining a time machine travel experience WAY BACK into time. Rocketing through space and light, buttons on our machine beeping and flickering. We land with a BOOM and open the door. Low and behold we are deep inside a musty dark cave. We meet a nice cave family in front of a warm fire. They do not look like us, speak our language, or have a written language. HOW ON EARTH CAN WE COMMUNICATE? Answer: Pictures. Pictures and art is a language for EVERYONE.
With our cave art activity we began imagining then literally turned our art rooms into caves using brown paper. There were lots of places to explore including bumpy rock walls, and inside dimly lit caverns. Students used natural art materials including twigs (charcoal vine sticks), pebbles/rocks (neural colored chalks), and dirt/mud (brown paints). We practiced art techniques with our tools including smearing, smudging, outlining, and printing to create symbols. We wanted to communicate a story through symbols to the cave people about our world in 2017.
We learned we had some similarities with the old cave symbols such as the importance of animals and family. We also shared some new symbols to them such as the hashtag and the game of tic-tac-toe. We showed them a map to our place, and they began to understand us a little more.
Students found a lot of joy doing this activity as they got to imagine with a heightened environment. On our adventure we explored the past, met new friends, worked with new art materials, and released urges that kids don't normally get to do at home (write and paint on the wall and dunk their hands in paint!).
We told our students to hold onto that excitement and keep an eye out for more symbols of our modern age when they leave the classroom. We know they will report back with some great findings! Ask your child to think of all the places they find meaningful symbols throughout their day. What do these symbols communicate? Feel free to comment below with ideas on this topic!