Aboriginal Art

Second Grade


Art 207-08, Group 6

Tiphanie Brust, Danika McAnulty, Thee Moua, Laurel Nichols





            The students will learnc

˜                     the basic characteristics of Aboriginal Art

˜                     the historical appreciation of Aboriginal Art

˜                     how to make designs with a series of dots

˜                     how to choose colors to express emotion


Student Materials


˜                     Q-tips

˜                     Tempura Paint in a variety of colors

˜                     Colored construction paper size 8 ½ x 11 inch

˜                     Protective paper to cover table


Teacher Materials


˜                     Previous student examples

˜                     Authentic examples

˜                     Map of the United States




˜                     Aboriginal/Aborigines

˜                     Australia

˜                     Dreaming

˜                     Emotion




1.                  Introduction:  Tell a brief history and characteristics of Aboriginal Art including previous student examples.

2.                  Choose favorite color of construction paper 8 ½ x 11inch

3.                  Fold paper in half the hamburger way

4.                  Put name on the inside of the paper

5.                  Think of an idea of what to paint on paper

6.                  Pass out Q-tips each student needs at least 5 to start

7.                  Choose paint colors that will convey the desired emotion

8.                  Use Q-tips to paint a series of dots to create the desired image on half of the 8 ½ x 11 inch paper

9.                  Then place upright for other group members to see

10.              Conclusion:  Have students share their artwork and describe the image to their group members and then with the class discuss what they have learned.


Visual Procedures









Step 1                          Step 2                                      Step 3

Fold paper in half                      Use Q-tips to dot                     Place upright for others

the hamburger way.       tempura paint onto                    to see and explain

                                                construction paper                    artwork.

to create desired image.


Suggestions and/or comments:


For more authentic artwork have children paint on rocks or tree bark (with acrylic paint).  This lesson can be included in a lesson on Australia, the Aborigines or included when teaching about creation myths to older students.  It would be helpful to have pictures of the Aborigines and a world map to show where Australia is in relation to the United States.  Otherwise a great lesson plan.


Artistic Development for first and second graders:


In first and second grade, children begin making symbols by drawing recognizable images.  Their pictures usually contain a body made up of geometric shapes with little or no overlapping.  They do not relate the actual color of the object to the color they are using.  They randomly place items in the picture and work largely from memory.


Cultural/Historical Background:


Aboriginal Art is native to the indigenous people of Australia.  It exemplifies non-western art in that it links spiritual and secular daily life, emphasizes tradition over invention, and it is not rooted in the conventions of the three-dimensional world.  More often than not, Aboriginal paintings use symbols to illustrate gdreamingh.  gDreamingh is a term used to characterize the basis of their spiritual and cultural life.  gDreamingh represents characters and events that led to the creation of the Earth as well as all-natural forces and features of Earth including animals and man.  The art form has not changed much.  The technique of using dots to make up an image has remained for thousands of years. 






Herberholz, Donald & Barbara.  Artworks for Elementary Teachers. Ninth Edition.  McGraw-Hill, New York: 2002. pp 100-109.