First graders explore art of Africa each year in my class -we always begin with the mischievous and lovable Anansi the Spider, who appears in many folk tales. I always share the story by Gerald McDermott which includes beautiful illustrations based on the art of the Ashanti people. This year I found an animated reading of the story online, which really brought the book to life.
After the story, we stamp printed shapes for our background to resemble the ones we saw in the story. Many African artworks involve repeating patterns, and we will continue to explore this in our unit. The following week, we cut out our moon, our hill, and the spider himself using shapes we drew, cut, and combined.