Tuesday, March 13, 2012

1st Grade Cave Drawings

This is a project that is art show worthy! First grade classes just finished a project in which they studied cave paintings from Lascaux in France. My kids loved going on a virtual tour of Lascaux. People aren't allowed to enter the caves anymore due to the artwork being destroyed more in the few years the caves were open than the 17,000 years before they were discovered!

I don't have a digital copy of this lesson, so I'm going to describe the project a little more than usual. With this project, students started off with craft paper that was roughly torn from a big roll. I've seen other teachers use paper grocery bags as well. The students crumple the paper and carefully uncrumple it. They then use an acrylic gloss medium to cover the paper.

The second day of the project, students practice drawing various cave animals from a handout I made. After practicing, they drew their favorite animal on the paper with pencil. The pencil doesn't show up very well, so they immediately go over the pencil lines with black oil pastel to make it show up better.
Some kids worked on the cave "walls" and
some worked on the floor instead.
The third day of the project is the coolest. My student teacher was running this project and it was pretty necessary to have two adults for this portion of the project. Essentially, we turned the room into a cave. All of the tables were turned on their sides and faced inward. We put a fake Halloween prop fire in the middle of the room and turned off all of the lights. First graders had this last day to add a bit of limited color to their cave animals and then make a white hand print to "sign" their work. They could choose to work on the cave "wall" or on the floor. This is one of those projects that is successful across the board. I'm planning on turning the stage at school into a "cave" for the art show. I saw the idea on Pinterest and I think it will look outstanding.


  1. These are great! Would diluted Elmer's work instead of the medium gloss?

  2. I don't see hey not. I've been doing it without any coating lately. This was a student teacher version and, while it worked well, it was an extra step that wasn't totally necessary.