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Adinkra Cloth

Create a beautiful West African Adinkra Cloth and learn about the culture of the Ashanti people. Get bold results with Crayola® Colored Pencils and Watercolor Paints.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Adinkra cloth is a hand-printed fabric made in Ghana, which is located in West Africa. They are cloths made by the Ashanti people that tell stories or express thoughts and feelings. There are many Adinkra symbols and each of them has different meanings. Use books or the internet for a list of Adinkra symbols and their meanings.
    2. On a piece of Crayola Marker & Watercolor paper, have students use a ruler and a Crayola Colored Pencil to draw a decorative border around the paper. Draw lines to create four boxes.
    3. Students choose an Adinkra symbol and draw it with a Colored Pencil in one of the boxes in a repetitive pattern. They should do the same with a different symbol in each box.
    4. Finish the Adinkra cloth by painting over the colored pencil symbols and lines with Crayola Watercolor Paint and Brushes. Combine several watercolor colors when painting the background.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    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: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    LA: Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.

    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.

    MATH: Reason with shapes and their attributes.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

    VA: Identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places.

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: The Talking Cloth by Rhonda Mitchell; Ghana: Picture Book (Educational Children's Books Collection) - Level 2 (Planet Collection) by Planet Collection; Anansi the Spider: A Tale from the Ashanti by Gerald McDermott

    Invite students to study the patterns in various Adrinka cloths and create their own stamps to create Adrinka cloths.

    Working in small groups or teams of two, students write an original story to accompany their Adrinka cloth. Groups should be prepared to share their stories with classmates or audio-record their stories and upload the file to a classroom computer, attaching it to a digital photograph of their Adrinka cloth(s). Classmates can experience the stories in a learning center environment or whenever other class work has been completed.

    Invite a community member who has visited Ghana to meet with the class and share his experiences in that country. If the visitor has any artifacts, share those with students and explain their significance to the culture. After the meeting, students post learning to a class blog.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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