ABOUT THIS BLOG

"A Faithful Attempt" is designed to showcase a variety of K-12 art lessons, the work of my art students, as well as other art-related topics. Projects shown are my take on other art teacher's lessons, lessons found in books or else designed by myself.
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Friday, August 4, 2017

Hamsa Hands


The Hamsa is a palm-shaped amulet popular throughout the Middle East and North Africa and commonly used in jewelry and wall hangings. Depicting the open right hand, an image recognized and used as a sign of protection in many times throughout history, the hamsa is believed by some, predominantly Jews and Muslims, to provide defense against the evil eye.
I teach this lesson to my junior high students as part of my unit on "The Art of Islam". I show them actual hamsa hands that I own (jewellery, a clay wall hanging and a hammered brass mirror. I also ask students to bring in any examples they have. Students then do some research on their laptops, looking up different types of hamsas. Then they draw out a template from photocopy paper and use this as a pattern to trace onto a piece of cardboard. I've then tackled this two ways: students papier mache over the cardboard in order to cover the raw edges of the cardboard. This technique takes much longer as more drying time is involved. Another class I simply had them prime their hamsas white one class, then the next class they designed their hamsa. They use their paper template to draw their ideas onto. They need to include some type of eye. I provide glass blobs and plastic gems to use for decoration and for the eye. Then they can use paint or markers to create their designs.
Some Grade 7,8,9 results:







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