Friday, January 20, 2012

Third Grade Pacific Island Tapa Paintings

My third graders are continuing with their study of Australia and the Pacific Islands. They watched a video about how tapa cloth is traditionally made and we looked at some examples of different cloths.

They had a variety of resources to use for planning their project, but I told them that they had to have a patterned border and that the center of their tapa needed to be a theme that represented Australia. I also created a PowerPoint with information and visuals for them:

After planning their projects in their sketchbooks, I gave them a piece of banana paper that I had purchased from Mulberry Paper and More. This made the project extra special for them, since they are used to using basic drawing paper and/or construction paper.

They drew their design onto the banana paper using pencil only. We discussed how they couldn't use eraser due to how fragile the paper was- they didn't want it to rip. Once the design was complete, they traced it with permanent black marker.

For color, we used water soluble oil pastels. 

If you have never used these, they are amazing! The students had 1 main rule to follow: the oil pastel is NEVER allowed to touch the banana paper! They used the oil pastel to color onto a piece of scratch paper. Using a wet brush, they treated this as their watercolor palette. In this way, they were able to get softer colors. I matted the finished products onto black construction paper and they look terrific!

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