Teachers Lesson Plans
Make a Parfleche: Grade 9-12
Look and Discuss
Present and discuss with your class a selection of the 7 featured artworks in the Artwork & Artists slideshow
(Tabs will provide you with information on the theme, composition, interpretation and the artist.)
A downloadable Presentation that you can add to or manipulate will also help you share these images in your classroom.
Use the suggested artworks as the basis for a discussion. What design elements and design principles can we find in these works? Discuss the different techniques and effects used to create shapes, forms, texture and colours, balance, rhythm, proportion and harmony. Why do Aboriginal artists represent their personal or cultural history? What is cultural identity? What is a parfleche? What was it used for? What was inside it? Why do Amerindians illustrate their lives on functional objects? In what ways is a parfleche similar to their own backpacks or handbags? Open the door to a more profound discussion and suggest avenues of research to the students.
Ask your students to make a list of small objects or photos they could use for their parfleche. These can be found objects or objects that belong to their family. They will use them to create a personal artwork that reflects their own personal, social and/or cultural experiences. Discuss with them the importance of traditions and customs (family and/or cultural). Ask them to question parents and friends about their cultural and family traditions and customs. When they have brought in their materials, ask them to analyze them before using them. Ask them to question themselves. Why have they chosen to bring in one element rather than another? How will the elements relate to one another? Will they need to include all of them, or are they going to choose the most significant or most striking ones? Ask them to analyze the importance of the parfleche for the First Nations and to draw inspiration from their own experiences to make one of their own. Ask the students to decorate the inside as well as the outside. They can also make and include special personal objects in their parfleche.