This Ndebele homes art project is a favourite. The colourful designs characteristic of Ndebele art are so uplifting, and students really respond to working in this style. The mini houses produced are bright and eye-catching and students really take ownership of them.
If you have not come across Ndebele art before now, you are in for a treat! The style of the painting decorating Ndebele homes is distinctive and stunning.
This photography book by Margaret Courtney-Clarke is filled with sumptuous examples of Ndebele home in Southern Africa and is a fantastic guide to the style of art.
One of the most noteworthy Ndebele artists is Esther Mahlangu, who has done much to disseminate the aesthetics and ideas.
For more information on the history and traditions of Ndebele mural painting there is an informative article on Amusing Planet.
Ndebele mini house art project
Designed for 11-14 year olds, this scheme of work has everything you need for a twelve lesson project.
Starting with an introduction to Ndebele art for students, the presentations takes you step-by-step. Practical activities include:
- mind-mapping personal symbols
- simplifying shapes
- designing geometric patterns
- planning designs and reviewing
- constructing mini 3d homes
- using mod roc
With clear success criteria, this project is excellent for teaching students how to recognise artistic styles. Students of all abilities are able to enjoy the variety of skills needed for the project. As a result they are really proud of their work!
A one-off Ndebele lesson
For those who do not have the time or resources for a twelve week Ndebele project, you can try this simplified one off lesson. Reusing a couple of old boxes or cartons (like ones that tea comes in), you can create a mini three dimensional house, inspired by Ndebele mural painting. For the free printable how-to worksheet below, click here: Ndebele mini house project freebie download.
And there are lots of ways you could extend and adapt these projects…
- Decorate other household objects in the Ndebele art style, such as plates or cups with ceramic pens.
- Paint an Ndebele style T-shirt using fabric paint
- Make links with other artists and designers using similar patterns in their work: Camile Walala or Keith Haring for example.
Finally, if you like colourful art projects, take a look at my quick and easy Sonia Delaunay artist response project.
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