Grade 3 – Ndebele beaded dolls


The idea behind the first term was to loosely base the grade 3 lessons around African art. In South Africa we have a people group known as the Ndebele. During the Apartheid they were not allowed to communicate in ways they did before. In response to this, the Ndebele developed a way of using beautifully crafted designs, both on the decoration of their abodes and in their bead work to communicate amongst themselves. In this coded, secret language, the colors, and the shapes used, all combined to tell of events (such as marriages), emotions as well as personal prayers.

popklkraleThough this tradition continues in many townships and villages, the artwork is often now sold in craft markets.  They make and sell beaded bracelets and beaded dolls that have a specific meaning.

Made by a learner who is from Korea.
Made by a learner who is from Korea.

After a small introduction to the rich history of these dolls, our grade 3 learners were set to creating their own 2D doll! The learners were not confined by the style of the Ndebele dolls but, after being inspired by them, could depart to follow wherever their imagination would lead them.

A boy who asked to make a boy doll
A boy who asked to make a boy doll

The learners began with an A3 piece of white paper. On this they drew the outlines of the dolls in pencil. They then went over these in black Koki. Finally colouring it in using Kokis. This was then cut out. 2 pieces of coloured sugar paper were given to the learners. From the first, they cut out a background. I suggested that they do two other doll silhouettes but this soon became any cool background that they desired! This they stuck on the second coloured piece of sugar paper before pasting the doll on the top.


Though the process is labourious and does take a while, the end result is well worth it!


Grade 3: Fun with the Grade 3s!

For this lesson, we were looking at different cultures and the masks they made. As we live in SA, we focused on African masks but, as you will see, the kids weren’t limited to this. After showing them a plate that I had made, they were given a clean, brown plate, a cardboard egg holder and access to a selection of cutting, sticking and coloring implements. To finish it off we made a rod to hold the mask in place by tightly rolling a piece of newspaper (Amazingly enough, this works!) IMG_20150313_123848

IMG_20150313_101614  IMG_20150313_123854The next challenge for these CRAZY Grade 3s was to construct the CRAZIEST hats for a Mad Hatter themed lesson! The lesson was introduced by myself, wearing an outlandish, multicolored cap that the kids loved and reading from a per-selected segment of Alice in Wonderland. I then showed them one easy way to make a base for a hat and then set the kids loose on whatever supplies I could find! These CRAZY COOL kids didn’t let me down. I think the mad hatter would be proud to wear any of these fine examples of head ornamentation.

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Grade 3 – Houses for Imaginary Pet

It was the first week of term and I had thought it a nice idea to try to get to know the learners through an arty warmer. I had decided to make a combined animal creation. The first learner would draw their favorite animal’s head and body (minus legs and tail). They would then hand their picture on to the next learner who would draw the legs. The number of legs being their favorite number. The next learner would then draw whatever their favorite hobby is as the pattern on the  animal (for example a soccer ball pattern or playstation etc). Finally the last  learner would add a tail, the shape of which should be their favorite shape. This then got handed back to the original learner who could make the mixed jumble of legs, tails, bodies and patterns work…At least that was the plan.

Though a number of the learners didn’t appreciate their friends additions, we stayed with the theme of imaginary pets for the next week. In groups of 3 I asked them to create a home for their pets (they could come up with a new pet as a group if they wanted). I first chatted with them a bit about what their pets were like and what they could need in a home. We got quite excited in this talk! They then made their houses out of recycled material. It would have been nice to have stayed with this for a while and actually got the learners to paint the houses etc. but I only allocated one lesson to this…I know for next year, the kids loved this lesson.

Anyway, here are some of the fabulous houses and some of the kids who made them!

Pets house Pets house Pets house Pets housePets house

Grade 3 – Crazy Hair

In this lesson, the Grade 3 learners were asked to create a portrait of themselves with CRAZY hair! They were very excited by this. The lesson began with going over what a portrait contains (2 eyes, a nose, a mouth, eyebrows, ears, a neck etc.). I did my own portrait with crazy hair to give them an idea and then unleashed them on the unsuspecting papers…The results were beyond what I could hope for!

Grade 3 with Crazy Hair
Grade 3 with Crazy Hair
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A budding little Matisse!

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