Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hurricanes and Blue Dogs

With all of the hurricane activity, I thought that I would post about a previous lesson, one that I will do again with the 7th graders this year. Years ago, I was blessed to be able to travel to Louisiana. I have actually been three or four times and love it. I love the culture, the people, the music, etc. The area that I am in love with, specifically, is LaFayette. Here, Zydeco music reigns. A year after Katrina, I actually went down witha church to try and help clean up some of the devastation. Years later, they are trying to get themselves back to what they were or to a newer beginning. This latest hurricane saddened my heart.

This is a culture that is trying to hold on to its past. I was able to stay at http://www.bluemoonpresents.com/ the blue moon guest house on one occasion. This is a guest house, so you share the house with wonderful new friends! The following picture is from the commons area:

Should you ever go, you must go dance on a Saturday morning at Cafe Des Amis  http://www.cafedesamis.com/. Where else can you Zydeco dance at 8:00 in the morning on a Saturday?!

I learned of an artist from this area named George Rodrigue http://www.georgerodrigue.com/rodrigue/paintings.htm. He has a wonderful art museum located nearby. This artist is from New Iberia, LA. He went to New York for a while, but returned, calling himself a true Cajun Artist. This lesson plan centers around his Blue Dog paintings. Below is his studio:

The students learned of Mr. Rodrigue and the love for his area. They listened to Zydeco music and learned of the culture. We then gridded dog images and eventually painted them using only four values of paint. This was a great way to learn about mixing values of paint, light to dark. We have used acrylic paint, pencils, watercolor, and oil pastel.


I use Microsoft Word images for the students to reproduce. They are already broken down into values for the students. We painted most of the backgrounds with a complementary color. I am looking forward to reliving this lesson plan!

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