2nd grade African Kanga Chalk Pastel Drawings

Sara Kingsolver’s 2nd grade African Kanga Compositions really caught my eye. I’ve wanted to expand my African art projects, and this one is gorgeous.

So, after researching other Kanga art projects and kanga material in general, I introduced 2nd grade to this project.

We talked about how an African kanga usually has a border, a main section, and an African saying on it. They’re usually very colorful with repeating patterns.

We looked at several kangas and discussed them as a class.

I demo’ed how to blend chalk pastel, and I demo’ed how to create high contrast line designs on our drawn kangas.

I demo’ed how to simplify the form into a thin rectangle. We looked at several pictures online of women and children wearing their kangas wrapped around themselves and to carry their babies.

We drew our shapes and added chalk pastel blended colors and patterns. The students could add baskets balanced on their African figures’ heads if they wanted.

One lesson I learned as a teacher is to start with the brown paper. I let them start with a practice page of white paper, but really should have transitioned them sooner onto the brown paper. Next time!

Also, I plan on waiting until all the other parts of the drawing are created before passing out the black chalk pastel. I demo’ed how to draw the arms, legs, and back of heads details LAST with the black chalk pastel, but it was a powerful temptation to many an artist in this project to start with the darkest color. This creates a ton of dark, hard to erase fingerprints all over their papers. Again, next time I’ll have a better strategy… 🙂

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