Symbols of Culture
PTPI's Global Youth Murals Project poses a wonderful introduction to the ways in which children around the world represent their cultures through visual art.
Using this collection in the Global Gallery, learners can examine different depictions of culture as an entry point to studying cultures of countries around the world. This activity can be an introductory exercise to social studies or world geography research projects.
Time Required: 1-2 class sessions
-identify symbols of other cultures in the visual arts.
-know the influence of people's experience on art.
-know how to find basic geographic information about different countries.
1. Direct students (in groups or individually) to the Global Youth Murals collection page in the Global Gallery and allow them to browse through the murals.
2. Students should each select one mural to write about, noting the title at the top and the country of the artists (labeled below the mural).
3. The students should identify at least two symbols or images in the mural and write an entry in their student blog explaining what they believe the symbol or image represents.
4. Students should also submit a one sentence comment in the Global Gallery stating what they like about the mural.
5. Ask students to brainstorm ideas of how to gather more information about the symbols they selected in the murals. Possibilities may include asking the artist, comparing the piece of art to other work from that artist or country, or doing research about the country or culture of the artist.
6. Explain that this activity will focus on exploring the symbols by learning more about the country, and direct students to the Explore the World webpage and the Country Site Quick Jump at the bottom of the page.
7. Students should scroll through the list to find the country where their chosen mural was created, recording in which region the country is located, and then highlight and select the country to go to its page.
8. Allow time for students to explore the various sections of the country page and gather information, focusing on Quick Facts and In the News.
9. Have students write a second blog entry reporting on what they learned about their country and sharing new ideas and opinions about their chosen mural based on this new information.
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