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Celebrate With Henna Hands

Students trace around their hands to imitate the look of intricate henna designs on paper. These traditional, temporary tattoos are used to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, Hindu weddings, and other auspicious occasions.

  • Grade 5
    Grade 6
    Grades 7 and 8
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Ancient Egyptians decorated mummies with henna. Over time, the tradition for celebrating auspicious occasions with beautiful henna body art spread through Africa, India, and Arabic countries. Henna-decorated hands now are common around the world when people celebrate events such as Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan. Students find out more about this ancient tradition, and then show what they learned with henna hand designs on paper.
    2. Students trace around their hands, spread apart, on construction paper with Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils. Between them, draw a Muslim girl, Hindu bride, or other female celebrating a special occasion. Color her skin with Crayola Multicultural Markers. Color her clothing (traditional or contemporary) with your colored pencils.
    3. Use a brown or red Crayola Fine Line Marker to create henna-like designs on the hands. Make the art intricate and delicate. Write or present a description of the event that is being celebrated and the meaning of the symbols.
  • Standards

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

    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.

    SCI: Ask questions about the natural and human-built worlds.

    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: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

  • Adaptations

    Students investigate wedding ceremonies from differing cultures. Document specific practices from culture to culture. Prepare an electronic presentation to share with classmates.

    In small groups, students further their research into the observance of Ramadan and celebration of Eid al-Fitr by Islamic families. Students reveal the significance of these events to the Islamic culture.

    Children investigate the lanterns used to usher in the Islamic holiday of Ramadan. Students construct an original lantern.


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