Level III-Art Lesson 9: The Nine-Banded Armadillo
Create a Relief with a Pewter-like Patina
The lesson is suitable for students in grade 4 through adult.
Art Lesson Description:
This lesson uses unusual materials--tin foil and shoe polish--as media to create a pewter-like relief of an armadillo.
The lesson begins with interesting information. For example, find out:
- Why Aztecs called the armadillo the turtle rabbit, and
- How armadillos find insects 8” below the ground, even though they are nearly deaf and blind.
Follow the guided drawing to complete the armadillo. You will create your own background.
Create the pewter-like relief with easy-to-follow steps that use glue, tin foil, and shoe polish.
The lesson asks the artist to solve some interesting problems:
- To create the relief with a combination of raised and indented marks, and
- To use what you have learned about armadillo habitats to create a simple background for the picture.
This lesson includes both POWERPOINT and VIDEO versions of the lesson plus 2 downloadable printouts: a warmup and a drawing of the armadillo.
List of Supplies for Each Student:
- 1 sheet of non-corrugated cardboard from the back of a tablet, sized at least 11” x 14”
- 1 fine tipped permanent black marker
- 1 bottle of Tacky glue (a regular bottle of White glue works but is less satisfying)
- 1 sheet of aluminum foil (the kind you would use for cooking) that is slightly larger than the cardboard
- 1 glue stick
- Black paste shoe polish
- Cotton swabs
- 1 dull lead pencil
Suggestions for Cross-Curricular Connections:
- Armadillos can transmit leprosy to humans. Learn more about leprosy, its causes and cures.
- Young readers can learn more about the armadillo in Amazing Armadillos (Step into Reading) by Jennifer Mckerley (author) and Paul Mirocha (illustrator).
- Read Armadillos (Animals Underground) by Emily Sebastian.
- Watch a video of an armadillo hunting for food.
- Learn to make succotash, a popular southern American food.
- Read The Beginning of the Armadillos, by Rudyard Kipling. Write a story like Kipling’s about the imaginary origin of an animal of your choice.
- Read Robert Munsch’s unpublished story, Armadillo.
- Read Don't Ever Cross That Road!: An Armadillo Story by Conrad J. Storad.
- The lesson begins with a riddle about the nine-banded armadillo. Study about another species of armadillo and write a riddle about it.
- Study pictures and watch a video about armadillos to learn how armadillos move. Then listen to music made by a Charango (They were traditionally built from armadillo shells). Use the music to make up a dance that imitates armadillo movements.
- The armadillo has nine bands. Have fun with the number “9” by playing math games about the number 9.
Approximate Time to Complete the Art Class:
- Drawing the armadillo: 25 minutes
Finishing the picture: (two steps)
- Drawing with tacky glue: 15 minutes
- Applying foil and shoe polish: 35 minutes
- Total time: 75 minutes