Navajo silver and turquoise jewelry inspired these first grade necklaces. We looked at Navajo jewelry to determine the lines and shapes arranged in a radial design. The pendants were formed by rolling a ball of clay and flattening it into a plump “slider.” The slider was rolled like a wheel to smooth the sides. The hole was punched with a straw. Designs were pressed in using toothpicks, sticks, and paper clips. When dry, the piece was painted with black acrylic paint. Silver acrylic paint was dabbed onto the top. A pattern of silver and turquoise pony beads finished the necklace.
I was given a collection of arrowheads found in the woods of upper Wisconsin. I had almost enough for every fourth grader. I supplemented the authentic arrowheads with hand-made ones from Oriental Trading Company so that each student could have one.
The arrowheads tied in perfectly with our fourth grade study of Native American art. The students wound thin wire around their arrowhead, leaving a long end to wrap around a length of suede. They added a symmetrical pattern of wooden beads to finish the piece.
This lesson was designed to integrate art into our second grade study of dinosaurs. We looked at a power point of fossils and learned how they were formed. The fossil necklaces were made by rolling a ball of Model Magic, then lightly flattening it. The oval or roundish discs were pressed onto shells, ferns, etc. A straw was used to poke a hole in the top. When dry, students mixed watercolors to paint each piece. Matt Mod Podge sealed each piece. The cord is a piece of synthetic sinew, which is a waxed thread. Wooden beads that repeated the paint colors were added for embellishment.