Two Waters Arts Alliance
Artists in Schools
Sara June Gray
TRADE BEADS, JEWELRY MAKINGS
SCHOOL CURRICULUM COMPLEMENTED:
Math, history, and art.
SUPPLIES & TIME FRAME:
Trade beads would use different colors of clay or wood, possibly paint, dowels or awls, sculpting tools are optional. The wood option would use glue, rhinestones, paint, and glitter. If the project expanded into creating jewelry or decorative items, other bead items like metal beads, stringing material, bells, etc., would be needed. Sara June Gray will be available late winter or in the fall.
3 Hours minimum – 9 hours maximum
4th to 7th grades
Trade beads. This project could integrate art, history, and math. Children would create their own trade beads using clay or wood, while learning the origin of trade beads in either African or Native American history (classroom teach would determine which culture to focus upon). While the students make their own beads, likely in groups, they would develop their own currency values i.e. certain colors, shapes or patterns would make beads more or less valuable. They could practice trading the beads for other items and test their math using their very own currency system.
An additional lesson, if time allowed, would be to have the children create art pieces with their beads. If the lesson focused on African cultures, they could view African jewelry or decorations and replicate the items with the beads they made.
This lesson has room to be scaled back to fit into class times or it can be elaborated upon.
ALTERNATIVE PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Jewelry making. I teach several different types of jewelry making; stringing, bead weaving, wire work, etc. Depending upon age and time allowed, I can pair a jewelry making project with another lesson a classroom teacher may working on with his or her students.
BA in Theology/Philosophy
“I believe everyone can be creative, its is not limited to artists. Creativity is more than visual, it is also conceptual”.
YMCA, middle school after school art program tutoring, craft coordinator, bead store manager and class instructor, I teach private jewelry making classes and I currently teach in the Key Pen Parks art programs