Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It has been a while...

O.K., hopefully I will get better at this and not let myself get so far behind.  Being pregnant the third time around has zapped my energy, especially trying to keep up with my 5 and 8 year old girls and all their activities.  I basically want to go to bed when they do, which means I get nothing done but the minimum.  Ordinarily I am an night owl, and that is when things get accomplished...oh well, eventually things will go back to normal I suppose.

This past semester I did a unit on India.  I have had a great resource book called India Color.  The photography is fabulous and the kids enjoyed looking at these pictures to give them a point of reference.  It is hard to imagine what life is like in another country, but this book was great to have.  Kindergarten did a part of the book entitled Adornment.  They talk about how the drivers of trucks and scooters take great pride in decorating their vehicles with ribbon and foiled tinsel.  Even poems, proverbs and messages are written on them. 
First grade did a chapter from the book called Doors and Passages.  They did a rubbing for the doors and used painted papers and decorative papers to add symmetrical details beside the doors and lastly they finished off with glitter glue.
Second grade took a section of the book called Bazzar.  There were all kinds of fun ideas from this section, but I was drawn to the handmade slippers, which is a very popular item at the bazaar.  I learned the slippers are called Khussa or Juti slippers. We didn't get through all the steps I had entended but we were at 4 weeks with this project and sometimes you just have to move on.  Regardless they turned out really nice.

Third grade also worked through the section of Adornment, but their images are of the Elephants, which are considered sacred animals to them.  The elephants are painted with beautiful bright colors and designs, as well as fabric and jewelry

Fourth graders did an architectural piece.  There is not a section in the book that talks about this, but because the Taj Majal is one of the most recognizable buildings in the world I felt we needed to have a grade level cover this. So students made buildings and palaces with similar arches and domes. We did these as silhouettes and backed it with a watercolor sunset.

Fifth grade looked at the section of the book entitled Textiles.  I chose to do block prints with all the beautiful organic shapes.  We watched a video from Youtube which shows the beautiful block prints being carved.  And how carefully each yard of fabric is hand painted with layers of paint from these blocks.  Students did their work on foam board and printed several prints.  They cut and embellished these once dry.