Stone & Bone Inuit Carvings

Stone & Bone Inuit Carvings lesson plan

Invite students to research the native Inuit people of Canada. Create sculptures of a natural figure using Crayola® Model Magic to simulate stone or bone.

  • 1.

    Using a classroom map of Canada, invite students to locate the Inuit native lands in Canada's Nunavut province. In small groups, students research information about the Inuit tradition of carving. What materials do the Inuit use in their sculpture? What tools are traditional? Look at examples of Inuit carvings or pictures of them.

  • 2.

    Students choose a natural figure from the far northern hemisphere such as a person, turtle, seal, fish, whale, owl, bear, or bird to sculpt in the Inuit style with Crayola Model Magic. After each group covers their work areas with recycled newspaper, distribute white Model Magic for the project.

  • 3.

    To create the effect of a gray rock such as soapstone, students knead color from gray or black Crayola Washable Markers into white modeling material. For bone, antler, or animal teeth colors, add a little yellow or brown marker. For a marbled effect, partially knead color into the Model Magic.

  • 4.

    Students use fingers and/or craft sticks to shape carvings. Include as many details as possible, such as facial features, feathers, beaks, or claws. Dry.

  • 5.

    If you wish to add more stony or bony color to the surface of the sculpture, soak the bristles of a Crayola Paint Brush in Crayola Washable Paint. Lightly spatter carvings by gently tapping the brush on one's finger. Or paint shadow areas of the carving with a dark color. Dry.

Standards

  • LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SCI: Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the types of habitats in which organisms live, and ask questions based on that information.
  • SCI: Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information that in any particular environment, some kinds of organisms survive well, some survive less well, and some cannot survive at all.
  • SCI: Use data about the characteristics of organisms and habitats to design an artificial habitat in which the organisms can survive.
  • SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions.
  • SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.
  • SS: Give examples of and explain group and institutional influences such as religious beliefs, laws, and peer pressure, on people, events, and elements of culture.
  • VA: Select media, techniques, an processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of choices.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.

Adaptations

  • Possible classroom resources include: The Inuit by Kevin Cunningham; Inuit Indians (Native Americans) by Caryn Yacowitz; The Inuit Thought of It: Amazing Arctic Innovations by Alootook Ipellie & David MacDonald
  • Students research additional information focused on the Canadian Inuit origins and culture. Are carvers still active today? If so, where? What materials do they use? Investigate examples of their work in museums, such as the Art Gallery of Ontario. Students select a favorite piece and write a description of what they see in the artwork. Include a digital photograph of the piece with your description.
  • Students investigate other forms of Canadian native art such as totem pole carving, painting, or masks.
  • Contemporary Inuit carver, Luke Tunguaq, stated, "Inuit carve what is traditional. They carve what they have seen, what they remember. Since they didn't write on paper, they put their thoughts into their carvings." Students work in small groups to discuss this quote and what they believe is the meaning behind it.