Motherfs Day Wampum Beads

6th Grade


Art 207-08, Group 7

Jessica Schulken, Jessica Taber, Crystal Burcham, Michelle Ventura, Nicole Provencher, Becca



Objectives: Students will learnc


·        The historical significance of Motherfs Day and the cultural background of Wampum Beads as they create colorful motherfs day gifts

·        How to make beads out of magazines

·        Diversity in media

·        How to develop fine motor skills

·        Creative expression

·        Knowledge of color theory


Student Materials:


·        Precut, colorful magazine clippings (preferably ads)

·        String (floss or yarn)     

·        Elmerfs glue

·        Scissors

·        Pencils or toothpicks


Teacherfs Materials:


·        History of beads

·        Examples of previous studentsf work

·        Visual procedures




Color theory, Wampum Beads, Diversity




·        Introduce the lesson purpose and historical context

·        Demonstrate the two varieties of bead making step by step:

o        Cut either squares or triangles from magazines

o        Wrap around a pencil and glue down the edge

o        Let dry for 30 seconds and slide off of the pencil

o        String together to form a necklace or bracelet

·        Discuss color theme options (cool or warm)

·        Dismiss students by table to retrieve supplies

·        Answer any questions, clarifications, and repeat demo if necessary.

·        Have students share their artwork with the class




Make clear to class that this can be a gift for anyone. This is so that children without mothers do not feel singled out or awkward.  Suggestions according to sec. 07:


This activity is great because it is easy to clean up and is appropriate for both sexes and many age groups. It allows children the opportunity to chose a variety of different necklace styles to express individuality and the use of magazines shows them that they can create realistic artwork from a variety of medium.  Students will enjoy the lesson because it provides them with a hand made and wearable motherfs day gift for their moms. The class also liked the surprise colors that rolling the beads made. Other positive points were the mentioning of the history of Motherfs Day and how it incorporated art into the holiday.


History Context:

 Wampum was usually made from the Northern Quahog, a hard-shell clam known to biologists as Mercenaria mercenaria. Beads of quahog shell were used for currency in 17th century New is believed the use of Wampum dates from the fifteenth century. The Iroquois originally obtained Wampum of this form and color by trade and tribute from the "Wampum makers" of Long Island.  The Iroquois did not make the beads themselves, and Wampum did not serve as a form of currency among the indigenous Iroquois.


In Ancient Greece the earliest Motherfs Day was celebrated for Rhea, the Mother of the Gods. During the 1600fs, which was about 400 hundred years ago, England celebrated Motherfs Day the 4th Sunday of Lent, they called it gMothering Sundayh and it honored the motherfs of England. Motherfs Day as we know it today was started in the 1850fs by Anna Reeves Jarvis a teacher and church member from West Virginia who was looking for ways to improve sanitation in her community. She lived during the Civil war and afterwards she supported both sides and looked for a way to bring both sides together.  She did this, by devoting her life and consequently her daughter, Anne Jarvisfs life, to the cause. On May 10th, 1908 the first church responded to Anne Jarvisf requests for a Sunday service for mothers, shortly after 46 states were participating in Motherfs Day services.  As time passed, Anne Jarvis became very concerned with the commercialization (to use something to make a profit, money), of Motherfs Day.  She thought it was much more important to make this a day of reflection and thanks rather than a day to just buy flowers for your mom. 


Artistic Development:

Children of this age group fall under the gGang Ageh category of development that is also referred to as the gDawning Realism.h According to Lowenfeld, the following characteristics are used to describe children who are in this developmental stage: Greater awareness of details, a greater awareness of physical environment, the disappearance of bare line and emergence of the plane, overlapping objects, the beginning of interrelationships between objects, attempts of showing depth through size of objects, less exaggeration and distortion of body parts