We talked about why and how
ancient peoples painted the walls of
caves as they did. No one knows the
real answer—was it magic, religion,
or just the hunt?
Students gently crumpled a large
piece of 22 x 28" ( 56 x 71 cm) heavy
paper (Kraft or drawing paper) into
a ball two times, then smoothed it
flat to give it a “rocky” appearance.
On this surface each student drew
at least two prehistoric creatures
in a simple scene. Reproductions
and books of prehistoric creatures
guided students to draw an accurate
picture of the animals. Once the
drawing was completed, students
went over their pencil lines with
Louis Berra’s cave Web site.
willow charcoal, a material similar
to what cave artists might have
During the second session, students used natural dyes to add color
to their cave paintings. We used
blueberries, beets, spinach, and terra
cotta clay mixed with water, but
they were also allowed to try other
kinds of natural dyes. Each student
left his/her signature with a hand-print.
When both projects were finished
the cave paintings were displayed
with the cave Web site printouts in
the school hall—our own walk back
Madison Stuart’s cave Web site.
Denise Ford and Jeanne Conway taught
this lesson at Assumption School in St.
Louis, Missouri. JeConway631@aol.com
Students understand the visual arts
in relation to history and culture
and understand technological communication and resource tools.