Apr 19, 2013

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The Coolest Website for Exploring Cave Art

Teaching students about cave art can be engaging at so many levels. Making a cave wall to draw on is a great introduction to texture for little ones, while delving into the symbolism of the images can be a great experience for older students. Whatever level you teach, if cave art is a part of your curriculum, check out this awesome resource for the Lascaux Cave that the French Ministry of Culture has put together.

Lascaux Cave Screen

You can use the site in a variety of ways. Clicking on “A visit to the cave” will get you started with a virtual tour. From there, you can choose to explore the different paintings whenever an “explore” button pops up.

LascauxCaveScreenShot2

This is a great site to use if you have a projector in your room. Turn off all the lights and let the “oohing” and “ahhing” begin! Make sure to have the sound on for an even better experience.

Although I use the site in a group setting with my younger elementary students, I can see taking an older group of kids to the computer lab for some individual exploration.

Tell us, do you teach cave art?

If so, do you introduce it in a fun way?

How can you see using this site in your classroom? We’d love to hear!

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  • diacap

    Hi, I am a k-8 art educator, I used this site with my 6th grade as an introduction into cave painting. The students loved it, and it just so happened that they were learning about this subject in one of their regular classes. It made the project very relevant and the end results were great.

  • Glenda

    I used this site with my 1st graders as part of my Around the World in 80 Days theme last year. Yes the effects of sound and sight delighted my students. Some were even a bit scared at first. After viewing the images we began our sketches on brown craft paper. I provided them with stills to look at close up and they created their own scene. Next class we worked under the tables and turned out the lights. They added pastels and or chalk to their pictures and imagined being in a cave. Finally we crumpled the paper and tore the edges or maybe we tore the edges first before drawing. They were mounted on black paper to give a bit of a 3D effect. They said it was one of the year’s highlights.

  • Denise

    I do the same as diacap, in introducing cave art to my 6th graders…they study prehistoric time period at the beginning of the school year, so we connect with their social studies class.

  • Karen

    I used this site years ago and it’s so much better now! You can buy a big roll of brown paper drop cloth at a hardware store that is very durable. I have the students work in solo or in groups and on the floor if they want to. After crumpling up the paper by sitting on it, jumping up and down on it, pounding it,.. to give it that cave texture, we open it up and flatten it to prepare it for the paint, which is slurry
    ( watered down clay of various colors). Which is just about what the cavemen would have used. this is a great way to use up any bags of clay that have dried up. I take the kids outside to pound up the the hard lumps of clay with our caveman tools (rocks) to make the “paint” We begin the line drawings using chalk. They sign their cave art with their handprint. A great way to exhibit these is to turn out the lights and close the shutters and invite staff to take a tour using only flashlight! A fun unit indeed!

  • http://www.artbke.blogspot.com/ Amanda Heyn

    Wow! So many great ideas here!

  • Susan

    Thanks for the great cave art ideas. Last year I ordered the book & DVD set on this subject but returned it because it was a real disappointment. This will be much better & free! Thanks!

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  • Pam Tycer

    I have this site playing while I turn off the lights in the classroom and my all my 4th graders create cave paintings at their tables. If I would forget to get it on up my big screen the kids would remind me. I think it got them in to mood. The audio is great too. It really fits the visuals.
    Crumpled manila paper with neutral colored crayon rubbings work great for creating the look of a rock wall. I have them rip paper and do the rubbings of the edges to make cracks in the wall. Then they have to use the cracks and colors to figure out what animal they are going to paint. I only give them neutral colors. It turns out to me a great texture, color and history lesson.