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Teacher Extensions

icon place holderAnatolian Wagon with Oxen
The people of the Near East were among the first in the world to develop writing and a system of religion and government. Some of these early cultures developed a type of picture writing. Many of the earliest written documents are contracts and inventory lists. Have the students explore the cuneiform writing of the Sumerians. Using slabs of air-dry clay that do not require kiln firing, have students create their own systems of symbol writing. Make and display mock contracts and inventory lists; have a show and tell.

icon place holderEgyptian Mummy Case Lid
Egyptian artists rendered the human figure in an unusual but logical manner, showing the most recognizable views of the body: the profile of the face and legs and the frontal torso and eye. They followed strict proportions, fitting each figure into a mathematical grid. Have your students draw their self-portraits in this manner, using a grid. These self-portraits can be accessorized with Egyptian-inspired clothing, jewelry, and makeup, for a more authentic look.

icon place holderCycladic Female Figure
After researching and looking at images of Cycladic figures as a class, have students create their own sketches of a figure they would like to reproduce three-dimensionally. Students can use their sketches as a guide to carve (with wooden popsicle sticks) their own Cycladic figures from soft bars of soap. Students can use toothpicks to create details and sandpaper to smoothly finish their sculptures.

icon place holderMinoan Ewer
Research Minoan designs for pottery and wall decoration. Have the students create their own Minoan-inspired designs with wave-like shapes and ocean plants and animals (like  Minoan designs). Use contrasting colors to experiment with positive/negative space relationships. Be sure to focus on the artistic principles of repetition, pattern, rhythm, and balance to create a feeling of harmony.

icon place holderGreek Jug (Olpe)
Research Corinthian pottery designs. Have the students create their own Corinthian designs with bands of animals and flower shapes. Like the Corinthians, use a limited palette of colors and experiment with positive/negative space relationships, pattern, and rhythm.

icon place holderGreek Amphora
Have students research the many different shapes of Greek pottery. Encourage each student to select a favorite shape and reproduce it as a large, black silhouette on light-colored paper. Place these images around the classroom and have students learn to recognize the many different shapes and functions of Greek pottery.

icon place holderGreek Wine Cup (Kylix)
Review the elements of Greek vase design and Greek mythology. Have students choose a mythological story and draw it on newsprint paper with an outline of an amphora. Using a ruler to mark off horizontal bands, have students draw border designs reminiscent of the patterns found on Greek vessels. Next, have them apply a layer of soft lead pencil to the back of these drawings. Place the drawings face-up on cardboard and transfer the original drawings to the cardboard by tracing over the pencil lines with a ballpoint pen. After all of the lines have been transferred, remove the drawing and go over the cardboard pencil lines with a fine-point marker. Next, students can color their entire designs with orange crayon, remembering to press hard. Students can use markers or paint to create areas of light and dark contrasts. Then, the students can brush India ink over the entire design (add a little dish detergent to watered-down ink). After it dries, students can scratch off areas of ink to reveal the design underneath. To create more textural interest, scratch off more ink in some areas to reveal the orange/brown colors.

icon place holderEtruscan Mirror
Have students make drawings based on stories and characters from Greek mythology on 9" x 12" pieces of drawing paper. After these are completed, give each student a 9" x 12" piece of heavy-duty foil. Let the students crinkle up the foil a bit and then smooth it out to create some initial texture. Use masking tape to tape the foil to a piece of 9" x 12" cardboard, and then tape the drawing to the foil. Using an art pencil with hard lead, have the students trace their design. Remind them to push down hard enough to make an indentation on the foil, lifting their drawings periodically to make sure the lines are visible on the foil. After the tracing is done, they can remove the cardboard and the drawing from the foil. Then, have students place their foil facedown on a piece of padding on the table. Using a blunt tool, students are to create a relief, pushing out the important objects that they want to be in the foreground by applying more pressure and applying less pressure to objects they wish to be in the background. The students can then add texture to their relief by rubbing areas of the foil against such things as screens, wire mesh, and other items around the house or classroom that have interesting textures. Next, have them brush the entire front of the foil with black paint or ink, making sure they fill in all the cracks and lines. Using a damp towel to lightly wipe off the foil surface, they can create a worn effect. If the students want to create a weathered effect, they can use a sponge and dab the surface with traces of copper and light green paint. These colors will simulate rust and patina.

icon place holderRoman Bust
Find several pictures of Septimius Severus in books and on the web. Compare these images to this portrait bust. Can we identify Septimius in all of these portraits?  In what ways are these images alike?  How are they different?

icon place holderRoman Mosaic Floor
As a class, design a mosaic floor or wall from uniform-sized shapes of different colored paper. Ask the students to use patterns including wave designs, circles, spirals, rope-like shapes, triangles, and rectangles. First, create a full-sized sketch. Be sure to incorporate animal images that have specific meanings for the class. Encourage the students to explore illusionistic three-dimensional forms.

icon place holderRussian Icon
Experiment with making an egg tempera icon. Give each student an egg and access to a variety of powdered tempera pigments of different colors. Supply spoons and small mixing bowls of water as well as paper towels. Have students make their icon paintings on fairly heavy, smooth paper cut into reasonable sizes. Paints should be applied with small paintbrushes for accuracy. Toothpicks can be useful for making small lines, different textures, and details.

icon place holderFrench Processional Cross
Research the various religious symbols people around the world recognize and value, such as the Jewish Star of David, the Islamic Crescent, the Hindu Om, and so forth. Try to discover how these particular symbols have evolved in these cultures and what they mean to the people who use them. Ask the students to name important symbols and signs used in their culture. Discuss the various meanings conveyed through these symbols.

icon place holderFrench Reliquary (Chasse)
Research Medieval relics, reliquaries, and designs. Have students make their own reliquaries from shoeboxes, using a medieval-inspired style with geometric shapes of varying colors. Ask the students to think of their reliquaries as containers for something very special, like a cherished photo or keepsake of a deceased family member or pet.

icon place holderGerman Altarpiece Panels: Master of the Holy Kinship
Ask students to develop a narrative among the characters in the Adoration of the Magi. Persuade them to look closely at each figure’s clothing, gestures, and position to help them decide what this person might say and do. Compare the different groups of people in the foreground, middle ground, and background of the painting. Discuss the important bits of information Renaissance artists supplied to their audiences.

icon place holderGerman Prints: Dürer
1. Albrecht Dürer was well known for his many prints and paintings of the Bible as well as his drawings of animals and the natural world. Have students research Dürer’s drawings of animals and the natural world in the local or school library. Ask the students to write a paragraph on the ways in which Dürer’s drawings reflect Renaissance attitudes and inventions.                

icon place holder2. Have students imagine that they are a young Albrecht Dürer in the late 15th century, traveling to Italy to seek artistic inspiration. After locating Nuremburg, Germany, on a map, plan a travel route to Florence, Naples, and Rome. Make a list of all the rivers and mountain ranges that need to be crossed on this journey. Plan all the cities and countries you will see on the way. Have the students draw this journey on a map.

icon place holderItalian Panel Painting: Lippi-Pesellino Follower
As a class, discuss the importance of the various steps in the process of making a tempera panel painting that tells a story. Divide the class into smaller groups and assign each group a specific task: (1) selecting the figures for the story and drawing the design; (2) painting the background landscape and the minor figures in the painting; (3) painting the major figures within the narrative; (4) making the small lines and hatch marks to shade faces, hands, and arms; and, (5) cutting and placing gold foil on haloes and clothing details.

icon place holderItalian Fresco: Marco Pino da Siena
Ask students to research and find a story that teaches a virtuous lesson. Have students make a brief outline of the major events of the story on the blackboard. Then, have each student select one of these major events and create an illustration of it. Using colored pencils or markers, ask them to tell their part of the story through gesture, stance, position, clothing, and placement of the main and minor figures.

icon place holderDutch Still Life: De Ring
Have students research the different types of still-life paintings in Holland during the 17th century and write a short biography on a still-life artist of their choice. Then, have each student select a painting by “their” artist that best exemplifies his/her style. Have each student write a paragraph or two about the possible meanings behind the objects in their image. Do a show and tell, discussing the different ways in which still-life paintings reflect Dutch culture.

icon place holderDutch Print: Rembrandt
Find several examples of the different states (versions) of a Rembrandt etching. Display these different states in their proper sequence and ask the students to discuss the differences among them.
Questions to consider:
How did each change to the image affect the composition?  
How do the various changes in the image affect its meaning and interpretation? Its mood?
Why do you think the artist made these particular changes?

icon place holderItalian Allegory: Solimena
Have the students find other examples of allegory on the internet or at the library. Ask the students to divide into groups and create a present-day allegory, using symbols they feel convey universal or communal ideas. After a show and tell, discuss as a class the pros and cons of working with allegories.