Africa

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder


Author: Marie Gardner

Grade Level: Early Elementary

Background Information:

 

Objectives:

1. Students will create a poster showing how two different cultures strive for beauty.

Materials:

Paper, Elmer's GluColors decorative glue

Time:

Two Days

Procedure:

1. Have the students brainstorm ideas that answer the question: What do American women wear that the American public considers beautiful? Fingernail painting, mascara, high heals, lipstick, bracelets, and nylons may be some of the responses.

2. Explain to the students that not all cultures think that the same adornments are beautiful. Tell the students that you are going to introduce them to something that people in parts of Africa think is beautiful.

3. Introduce henna hand painting to the class by showing the class pictures of henna art. The following link contains a page of links to many different pictures and to information about henna.

Henna Hand Painting

4. Discuss the following questions with the class:

What is henna?

A dye that comes from a scrub about nine feet high

How is henna made?

Leaves are dried and crushed and mixed into a paste

What are the traditional uses of henna as a tattoo?

5. Next, provide groups of students with:

Have students trace one of their hands on a piece of paper.*

Allow the students to create designs lightly with a pencil.

After they have created a design that they like, allow them to trace over the design with glue.

Allow students to create their own designs and choose the meaning of the designs. Then allow the glue to dry overnight.

Day 2

1. Have students look at the designs that they have created.

2. Ask students to decide whether or not they think henna hand painting is beautiful. Ask them to guess why they think the way that they do. You may also ask students what they think is more beautiful henna hand painting or permanent tattoos like the ones many Americans use.

3. Remind students that women traditionally practice henna body art. Then as a form of assessment, have the students fold a piece of paper in half. On one side have the students draw something some people in their culture do to look beautiful. On the other side have the students mount their hand design and write a sentence about how henna tattoos are used in Africa.

*This project may actually be done with henna on the skin. I chose to do it with glue and paper instead for the following reasons:

Evaluation:

5 points

3 points

1 point

Students have written a sentence about henna

Students wrote a sentence about henna that is fully accurate

Students wrote a sentence about henna that is not fully accurate

Students wrote a sentence about henna that was not complete

Students have drawn a picture of a object that is beautiful in their culture

Students drew pictures that show something beautiful from their culture. The picture was complete and showed effort by the students

Students drew pictures that show something beautiful from their culture. The picture is complete but shows minimal effort

Students drew pictures that show something beautiful from their culture. The picture is incomplete.

Students have created a henna hand design

Students neatly traced their hands and put forth the effort necessary to complete the project

Students traced their hands and put forth minimal effort to create the project

Students traced their hands but did not make henna art designs


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