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Bengali Scroll Paintings

India's Hindu population celebrates Diwali with these colorful scrolls. Make similar paintings and explore this cultural art form.

  • Grade 6
    Grades 7 and 8
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Introduce students to the customs of India, the country's Bengali scroll painters (patua or chitrakar) and the artworks they produce (pats). Have students parallel their works of art to that of contemporary cartoonists, storytellers, and folklorists in various countries. Compare both technique and subject matter. Find out about the Hindu celebration of Diwali.
    2. On a long sheet of rolled paper, use Crayola® Markers to draw several panels that tell a story in a style similar to that of a Bengali scroll. Each panel should be a simple but independent image that relates to the next image in sequence. Use bright colors.
    3. Roll up the ends of the scroll. Tell a pats story while unrolling each row of panels.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

    LA: Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    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.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Describe ways in which the principles and subject matter of other disciplines taught in the school are interrelated with the visual arts.

  • Adaptations

    Students expand their research to include ancient Rome and/or the American West. Students create a scroll painting that accurately represents a replica of one of these cultures. Students compose a written summary describing their artwork.

    Students use the scroll painting format to represent a book report. Students orally present their scroll painting book report to a small group or class.

    Invite a local expert on India to speak with the class about Bengali scroll paintings and how Diwali is celebrated by families. Prior to the meeting, have students compose questions for the expert. Students post to a class blog after the meeting.


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