Chelsea Lewis’ students studied Lascaux Cave in Montignac, France.
They learned that this cave was discovered in 1940 by four French teenagers and their dog Robot and that the cave was filled with 17,000-year-old cave art. They also learned that cave artists created the large paintings of wild animals as a form of religious practice.
The D.M. Smith students finished the unit by creating their own cave art.
“I turned my room into a cave because I wanted students to feel the conditions of the cave and emphasize with cave artists. I darkened the windows by covering the glass with dark butcher paper. Students worked in groups of three and each member had a role in creating the art: the leader, the artists, and the detailer,” said Lewis.
“Students used charcoal, chalk, a copy of an original Lascaux painting, brown butcher paper and much creativity to create the cave art.
“The students did a fantastic job and were engaged with the project. Project-based learning is essential in the classroom. I hope my students never forget this project, I know I will not. In every endeavor I am proud of my students but on Friday (Sept. 27) my students blew me away.”
Kentarius Ramsey and Larry Tyler were partners in Lewis’ first period class and together they created a painting of large horses.
Kentarius said, “I enjoyed the hands on activity and creating cave art was fun.”
When asked why Stone Age people created cave art he recited, “It is a form of prayer asking the higher powers for a successful hunt.”
Lewis said she loved watching her students create the art and challenged them to reflect on what the cave artists might have been thinking and feeling.
Lewis said, “Friday was a fantastic day at D.M. Smith and the seventh grade World History students expressed their skills in team work and creativity.”