To come up with new ideas for lessons, I like to attend art shows and different events in our area. This idea for this art lesson came from seeing the work of Angela Dallas, a mixed media artist who uses African fabrics in her artwork.
The students used chalk pastel to create a simple background. Once that was complete, they used fabric strips for the clothing. They arranged the fabric strips in groups. When they were satisfied with their grouping, they glued the strips onto the paper. They then added the body parts: heads, legs, arms. They added necklaces, carrying baskets and swords as they chose.
The interesting part of this lesson was that the classroom teacher had done a writing exercise that morning based on a National Geographic magazine photo of an African Elephant. I love when those coincidences happen.