Draw Your Own Rock Art

Summary

Students will draw their own rock art and learn to:

  1. Interpret the images of others.
  2. Express ideas and communicate through illustrations.
Materials

A roll of butcher paper
Colored chalk
Tape

Estimated Activity Time

This project requires minimal set up and preparation. Time required depends on number of students.

Background

Rock art is unique among the cultural remnants an archeologist studies. The purpose of rock art is difficult to discern unlike tangible artifacts that can be measured, weighed and counted. Some rock art share common themes and symbols but interpretations of rock art are subjective. The pictures and symbols made long ago can never be understood with certainty, but it does provide archeologists with clues about what may have been important to the person who created it or how that person went about their daily activities.

Preparation

Prepare a "rock wall" by taping large sections of butcher paper to a surface. The surface can be a wall or other sturdy object and does not need to be smooth. Rough or bumpy surfaces will allow participants to incorporate texture into their drawings.

Procedure

Begin by asking the students to draw examples of symbols that have meaning to them or create symbols that have certain meanings.

Divide the students into small groups. Provide the participants in one group with colored chalk and instruct them to illustrate ideas and themes without using letters or numbers. Students in another group try to interpret the meaning of the first group's illustrations. Encourage students to compare their interpretations with the intentions of the first group and discuss their differences. What words could be used to describe the illustrations? Why were the illustrations made? What messages could they convey?


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