Friday, November 13, 2015

Anansi the Spider; An Ashanti Folktale

My kindergartners just finished painting these cute Anansi spiders. Anansi is the an Ashanti folkstory from Ghana, Africa. I began this lesson by reading the book to the kids. Anansi has six sons, who each have a special talent. There is See Trouble, Road Builder, River Drinker, Game Skinner, Stone Thrower, and Cushion. Each son has a different shape on his body to show his talent. When Anansi gets into trouble the sons use their talents to save his life. 

After reading the story, students were given pencils and white paper. I used guided drawing on the SmartBoard to show them how to draw a triangle (they insisted it's upside down) with an oval on top for the head. I asked them to show me on their fingers how many legs a spider has. They all showed me five on one hand and three on the other so I asked them to add one to the three and subtract the thumb on the hand with five. I showed them with my hands that I now had four fingers up on both hands and that's how a spider's legs are arranged on their body. I showed them how Anansi's legs overlap and asked them to draw four legs on each side. 
While they were finishing up their drawings I passed out pallets of black paint, but no brushes yet. I then demonstrated how to use the edge of a flat brush to make a smooth line around the shape before filling in the insides. They had the option of using the same flat brush for the legs or using a detail brush. I showed them tricks for both brushes. Finally, I gave them brushes and asked them to paint in their drawings. 

The next class period we looked at a picture of Anansi on the SmartBoard and talked about the web behind him. It is created with pattern instead of traditional spiderwebs. I showed them how to make both a patterned web like the book or a traditional web and let them decide how to fill in the background with marker. Finally, I gave them pallets with red, orange, yellow, blue, and purple and used my document camera to walk them through painting the face and other details on their spider. We started with orange and painted a V for the lower lip and a triangle like the body for the top lip. Then it was a T for the nose and bottom of the headband with a strip a little above it. Next, we skipped to blue and painted the triangles above the eyes and the nostrils. Yellow was next for the eyes and then a red stripe on the headband. Last, we talked about and looked at the images of the six sons and noticed the different shapes on the bodies. They used purple to add any shape on their spider's body. 

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