Islamic Name Tiles for 5th grade - A lesson in symmetry
(example and my note card "cheat sheet" to make sure I'm covering all I want to cover in the intro)
When I introduce this lesson, I like to ask the students about their knowledge of current events, if they've ever heard the terms Islam, or Islamic, and what they know about that. It could very easily lead to some touchy conversations so I like to direct them away from the people to the art.
We talk about the region this group comes from, I pull down the map and we locate the Middle East. Ask what they know about that area and the land.
We start with tracing a triangle in their sketchbook. Using bubble letters or block letters from our 4th grade Graffiti lesson the previous year, we fit the name into the triangle taking care to stretch and elongate some letters to use the space of the triangle wisely.
9" square paper is folded three times (in half, then in half, then on point with the open ends up) to form a pinwheel of triangles and the tracing begins. One triangle is drawn free-hand, the remaining are only traced using a light box or the windows.
(they were all over the building :)
A really nice example so far.
Last up is the coloring. Islamic tiles were glazed with blues and greens in opposition to the dry desert colors present in that region. So our tiles will be colored with blues and greens also.