1st graders are continuing their journey across the world by flying from Africa to Australia. We are learning about the Aboriginal tribes of Australia. We breeze through a quick prezi about Aboriginal tribes in Australia and look closely at their work that is dedicated to the use of bright, inviting dot designs that are sometimes abstract and other times include images from nature, dreams and animals. We also talk about their musical instruments including Didgeridoos and Rain Sticks.
As if on cue, a student in both classes explained “I wish I had a rainstick.” which led to me explaining that using tubing, foil, beans and paint, we would be making our very own Aboriginal Rain Sticks! They were super exciting to plan out their ideas. To simplify the process for the students, we took the design sheet and colored in the tubing of our rain stick one solid color. On the ends is where we use markers to make our dotted designs like the aboriginals. We talked about how different colors mean different things and many students used that information to make thoughtful designs. It was important to demo the dotting because otherwise students go to quickly and make whispy dots that don’t look very Aboriginal.
To download the worksheet I created using Adobe Illustrator, click Rain Sticks for the PDF. While students were working, I pulled up YouTube and we listened to an Aboriginal tribe use the instruments discussed. At first students were weary of the foreign sounds but quickly got into the grove while they worked; it was a great integration of culture, music and art.