FREE: NAIDOC Natural Art
This outdoor lesson is a fun way to celebrate NAIDOC Week & Indigenous culture.
Easy Peasy Level:
Beginner /Intermediate /Advanced
- Indigenous Australia
- NAIDOC Week.
- Natural Art
- Fibre / Sculpture.
This lessons is suitable for all age groups and abilities and is a great way to celebrate NAIDOC Week or Indigenous Australia in your school playground. Students will work collaboratively to create a large natural sculpture made from collected materials. The artwork is inspired by Australian animals and Aboriginal X-ray paintings. The beauty in this lesson is from the class working cooperatively to create something to be enjoyed by everyone, even if it is only for a short while.
You will need:
- A clear open space in your playground. Try to find a space on the side of a hill or slope so that others can see it from far away.
- A can of spray paint or line making paint. Alternatively, you could create this artwork on a hard surface and mark it out with chalk.
- Buckets for the collection of materials.
- Gloves for students with allergies or sensitivity to the materials being used.
- Collected natural materials such as sticks, stones, gravel, leaves bark etc.
Easy Peasy Tips:
- In this lesson we will need to remember to be safe. Never run while carrying sticks or other sharp materials. Also be careful of what you pick up so that you don’t disturb animals homes or disturb creatures that may harm you.
- Always collect materials with teacher or adult supervision.
For The Teacher:
- Students should never be permitted to use aerosol or spray paints. It would be advisable to mark out your design prior to school or whilst students are not present.
- Always check with your principal to make sure that this activity is permitted at your school.
- Also remember that we should always treat Indigenous culture with respect and sensitivity. Show students images of X-ray paintings as inspiration but explain that we are not copying, just using them as inspiration for our own designs.
Creating Your Artwork:
- Choose a design that you think would be suitable for your students and their abilities. You could choose one of our designs or create your own. Perhaps print off one of our designs that you can take with you to copy once out in the playground.
- Find a large open space in your playground where you can create your sculpture. Using spray paint or line marking paint, mark your design on the grass or other surface. Remember that this should be done whilst students are not present. Make your design nice and big but remember the size should be determined by the available time and the amount of materials that you have to fill the design.
- Natural materials treasure hunt! As a class, search the school environment for suitable materials for your sculpture. Encourage the students to collect materials of different textures and colours. Take buckets with you to help seperate the materials and so that they can be carried safely. The main material that you will need will be sticks. Try to find sticks of different thicknesses and sizes.
- Begin outlining your design with sticks. Overlap and layer the sticks to make the outline stand out from afar. Try to stick to the original design underneath and look for sticks that suit the shapes and lines. Also try to use thicker sticks on the most important parts of the design.
- Once you have outlined the design, begin filling the sections with contrasting materials. This helps to make the different parts of the design stand out. Contrasting could mean that the materials are very different in colour or texture. Once you have filled the sections also begin decorating your sculpture by adding materials such as stones.
- You could also use other materials such as the grass we have used here to help your design stand out.
- Sand is also a great material to use because you can stamp designs into it using your fingers or a stick.
- Once your sculpture is complete, remove any left over materials from around your sculpture to make it look nice and also to make it stand out. Why not invite other classes to see what you have created and explain how it was made?
- Your sculpture is now complete.
What do you like about your artwork? What would you do differently next time?
- Different classes could create different designs to create an outdoor NAIDOC Week inspired sculpture display.
- If you liked this Indigenous themed artwork, why not try one of our other similar lessons?