Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Cave Painting

Upper Elementary and Middle School students at Readsboro and Currier Memorial are well into a unit on prehistoric cave painting. As part of this unit, we took a virtual field trip to the prehistoric caves in Lascaux, France. We learned that the paintings in these caves were created around 17,000 BCE by the Cro-magnon people. There are many painted caves in this region of France, but this one, known as the Sistine Chapel of Prehistory was discovered by a couple of fourteen year old boys and their dog, Radar, while out on an afternoon hike.
You can learn more about the cave by following the link: www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/arcnat/lascaux/en/ or take the tour here www.lascaux.culture.fr/. The tour is a new link off the official website and it is really amazing. Lots of interesting info to be found at both sites.
Our art students viewed the art, learned to identify the main characteristics of prehistoric cave painting, and considered what it might imply about a culture that they had the tools, materials, time, know-how, and motivation to assume an undertaking of this scale. The students then developed some rough drafts of their own in this style, which they enlarged onto brown craft paper using chalk pastels. They cut out their animals, pasted them to fill larger pieces of craft paper, and sponge painted in the rock wall. From these we assembled our own version of a prehistoric painted cave. The Currier Cave is now set in the hall connecting fifth and sixth grade classrooms. The Readsboro Cave will be constructed in the art room. Come check it out.



Here's the finished product. Are they not magnificent?

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