"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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Wednesday, March 6, 2024

"Year of the Dragon" projects

My Grade 7-9 students recently finished their Chinese Dragons for Lunar New Year. This was an end of semester project for them. I gave them total free reign and said the only theme was "Chinese Dragon"- they could use any media they wished to illustrate this. I showed them a video about Lunar New Year celebration as well as one explaining the Chinese zodiac story. Some students shared how they celebrate with their families. I didn't do any tutorials other than showing them examples of dragons in Asian art. 

We discussed the physical  characteristics of a Chinese dragon. Chinese dragons have many animal-like forms such as turtles and fish, but are most commonly depicted as snake-like with four legs. Academicians have identified four reliable theories on the origin of the Chinese dragon: snakes, Chinese alligators, thunder worship and nature worship. They traditionally symbolize potent and auspicious powers, particularly control over water.

Chinese dragons have nine characteristics which are a complex combination. They have a camel’s head, a demon’s eyes, a cow’s ears, a deer’s horns, a clam’s belly, a snake’s neck, an eagle’s claws, a tiger’s paws and 117 carp scales.

Prior to the lesson, I hunted down some dragon themed Lunar New Year decorations at our local Asian supermarket. They had loads to choose from as you can see below.

Look at these giant cans of Lays potato chips!!!

I was super impressed by how these artworks turned out!  Watercolour was a popular medium.




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