Level II-Art Lesson 4: The Elephant from Ghana
Learn to draw an elephant and capture the vivid colors of an African sunset
The lesson is suitable for students in grade 3 through adult.
Art Lesson Description:
An artist displaying his work in the markets of Ghana sold us this painting. The background of the painting captures the gorgeous red sunsets of western Africa, and the towering elephant’s proportions make this an exciting project.
The project provides an opportunity to explore texture and to work with a limited color palette.
The picture can be finished with colored markers, but we discovered that the new “color switcher” markers are also great fun to use on this project.
This lesson includes both POWERPOINT and VIDEO versions of the lesson plus 2 downloadable printouts: a warmup and a drawing of the elephant.
List of Supplies for Each Student:
- 1 warm-up for the elephant from Ghana (included in the lesson)
- 1 sheet of glossy printer paper
- Fine tipped permanent black marker
- Washable colored markers or color switcher markers
Suggestions for Cross-Curricular Connections:
Social Studies: Use this lesson as an introduction to the geography and history of Ghana and western Africa.
- Facts about Ghana.
- Culture of Ghana.
- Cloth from Ghana.
One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference. Based on a true story of a boy from Ghana who turns a small loan into a thriving farm and a livelihood for many.
Dance from Ghana: For a real physical workout, watch a dance from Ghana and see if you can do the steps!
Writing: Read Rudyard Kipling's "How the Elephant Got It's Trunk" (in Just So Stories) or listen to Jim Weiss's telling of the story. Then write a story about how your elephant got to be the way it is.
- Learn the difference between Asian and African elephants.
- Learn what is being done to protect elephants in Ghana.
- Is it true that elephants never forget? Find out by clicking on the red words, and then find a lesson plan here.
- Learn about elephant families at these three websites.
Approximate Time to Complete the Art Class:
- Introduction through guided drawing: 25 minutes
- Finishing the drawing: 35 minutes
- Total time: 60 minutes