My 3rd grade classes learned about African Korhogo Cloth paintings. They had been studying Africa in their Social Studies class. Here are some of the resources we used: information about the cloth paintings and a couple of YouTube videos– Take a Look at African Korhogo Cloth and Senufo Art (although I do caution you that there is some tribal nudity at the beginning of this documentary in the intro, so start it after 20 seconds in). There is a really cool tribal dance portion at the end of this video with a dancer as a leopard. The kids thought it was really fun to watch.
The animals chosen for the African Korhogo Cloth paintings have cultural significance and you can see some of the meanings on this website.
- Canvas cloth banner from Oriental Trading Company
- Faber-Castell 24 Count Watercolor Paints
- cup of water
1. The students chose an animal (or fictional creature) that resonated with them or was meaningful to them. They looked at Zoobooks magazines to sketch their animal. They traced their image on the sketch paper with a black Sharpie marker.
2. Next, they traced their image onto the canvas cloth wall hangings which I purchased through Oriental Trading Company. The banners came with a wooden dowel rod at the top and a ribbon tied to it for hanging. The dowels were fragile and one or two were broken as the kids handled them. The banners themselves were fairly inexpensive, so it was OK and I made sure to have extras. The canvas was thin enough so they could place their sketch underneath and they could see their design through the cloth.
3. After they traced their animal on to the cloth, they were required to draw a patterned border of some sort. They also needed to think about how they were going to finish the background.
4. Again using the black Sharpie marker, they outlined all their designs on the cloth. Then, they used a combination of colored Sharpie markers and Faber-Castell 24 Count Watercolor Paints to color their cloth wall hangings. It was fun and interesting to paint on a different surface other than paper. The watercolor paints soaked into the cloth and blended in a new way. It’s hard to describe, but the experience expanded the students’ ideas of what painting is like.