Sunday, June 16, 2013

6th Grade Aboriginal Sand Paintings

I had posted previously that the last unit in 6th grade was going to be an Indigenous Cultures unit.  We just BARELY finished!  One class completely finished their projects and the other class has one more art class this week to finish their sand paintings!  (Check out some samples of this project that I did with Studio Art when I did my student teaching.)

Students designed their sand paintings using one Australian animal and at least 3 Aboriginal symbols on 6"x 6" Masonite board.  We primed the board with gesso and then when dry, transferred the design on the board.  I had the students do one color of sand at a time.  They squeezed the glue onto the designs (and used a paintbrush to spread it if need be), sprinkled the sand on, dumped the extras onto a folded piece of tag board, and then dumped it back into the sand bottle.  They did the background last, and then glued on beans, split peas, etc. if wanted.

I was hoping to have enough time to get into a Dreamtime story or two, but we won't this year, however I still wanted to share the awesome website I found that deals with Aboriginal Dreamtime stories.  It's called Dust Echoes. There are video versions of each story on-line that you can watch, or you can print out the PDF study guide for each story.  The study guide contains the story with teacher notes on the side to explain what the story is about.  It has a page of classroom activities that can be done with the story, as well as student worksheets that have a variety of questions and activities.  Definitely take the time to check out this is so worth it!


  1. Who the Dust Echo's website is really interesting although man those are some dark and intense animations, I'm going to search for one or two that are a little lighter. Thanks for the link!

    1. Yes, the videos are definitely more appropriate for older students, but I think it would be okay to print off the PDFs as a handout to read with the kids (easy common core!).