Africa (Old Curriculum)

African art (Old Curriculum)

Children's rights and the millennium development goals are studied in relation to Africa and the UK. Health, water, food and trade, Mandela, African art, history and geography are all covered and support to link with an African school is given. Gain your International School Award!

Each Topic is written for a particular Key Stage. If you use a Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.

This Topic was written for the old National Curriculum of England.  We have left it on the website so that teachers unconstrained by the new National Curriculum can continue to access this material.  Teachers in England would have to adapt this Topic to the new curriculum or use some of the new Topics available on the website. 

Supporting documents for topic
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01: Ethiopian icon painting

Take a trip back in time to introduce art of icon painting from ancient kingdom of Ethiopia. Children explore features of this art form and consider how they were painted and their purpose. They copy small areas of icons to capture style elements.

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01a: Icon creation

Create an Ethiopian pocket icon. Children explore techniques of painting on wood and create their own icon images based on their studies.

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02: Afewerk Tekle

It’s time to come up to date and look at work of a modern Ethiopian painter: Afewerk Tekle. Children use websites to find out how his work has been influenced by the tradition of icon painting.

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02a: Ethiopian inspiration

Think big and create a class mural based on the work of Afewerk Tekle. Children work collaboratively to plan and paint a mural with a biblical subject in the same style as Tekle.

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03: Batik technique

Introduce children to the techniques of flour resist batik and explore the history of batik in Africa. Children get chance to practice the methods themselves.

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03a: Beautiful batik

Focus on the beautiful batik found in Mozambique. Explore the visual and tactile elements, including use of colour and pattern. Children use sketchbooks to copy and explore sections of these designs concentrating on composition and subject matter.

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04: Creative designs

Applying their knowledge of Mozambique batik, children plan and design a wall hanging. Children sketch their designs bearing in mind the techniques of batik and the need for clear, simple images.

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04a: Wall hangings

Using the techniques of flour resist batik, children create wall hangings in the style of the Mozambique batik they have studied. Children are encouraged to carefully select techniques and tools to create a quality product.

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05: Mask detective

Time to be a mask detective and ask, ‘what is a mask?’ Children explore the rich masking tradition in Africa and consider their design and purposes, looking at lots of examples from across Africa.

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05a: Goli masks

Narrowing the focus, children discover more about the features of a Goli mask used in all-day festivals of the Baulé peoples. Children carry out an investigation into stylistic elements of the mask and their meanings and purpose.

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06: Mask making

Make a Kple Kple mask using air-dry clay. Based on their research children design and make their own versions of these fascinating African masks.

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06a: Join the masquerade

Join the masquerade! African masks often form part of a dramatic performance which incorporates dance and music. Using African music as inspiration children create simple dance steps to show off their masks.

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07: Adinkra cloth

Moving to West Africa, children explore how the history of Asante people has been represented through the craft of block printing Adinkra cloths. Children use web research to find out about the history, techniques and processes involved.

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07a: Designs with a message

Adinkra cloths are craft with a message. Children explore the traditional symbols printed on the cloths and create their own symbols to tell a story of their own lives.

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08: Adinkra block printing

Selecting appropriate tools and techniques children create potato stamps of their own Adinkra cloth symbols, ready to block print on a cloth.

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08a: Cloth creation

Inspired by the Adinkra cloths worn on special occasions all over Ghana, children create their own versions. Children think carefully about overall design of their cloth and how they will block print using stamps made in Session 8.

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English Plan 9: Non-fiction - instructions

Identify features of instruction texts and evaluate, for example after following the instructions. Discuss the different ways in which you can get help when trying something new. Children role-play a helpdesk and write instructions for hobbies and online games or software.

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09: Ndebele beadwork

Zooming in on South Africa, children are introduced to the incredible beadwork of the Ndebele people of KwaNdebele. Through web images children explore the history of this craft and investigate its key visual elements.

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09a: Get beading

Time to have a go at beading! The traditional Ndebele methods of beading are demonstrated and children have a chance to experiment with this new technique.

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10: Beadwork fashion

Ndebele beadwork is a thriving tradition and can be found on all sorts of modern items. Children explore how it has been used in fashion and design simple belts based on the geometric designs of the Ndebele people.

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10a: Beads on the catwalk

Hold a fashion show in class! Children create their own beadwork belts based on Ndebele designs and using traditional methods. Sensational!