Lasceaux cave paintings

The Cool Cave of Lascaux:
A Cross-Curricular Unit
Antoinette Tobia
Summer 2010
Technology and Stories to Teach Curriculum
presented to: Professor Moone / MSET
Target Audience
• Subject Areas: Visual Arts, Technology, Social
Studies, Language Arts Literacy, Science
• Grades 3-5, Special Education
• This unit may be differentiated to
accommodate all learners with modified
requirements, extended work time, support
structures, and personnel.
• Timeline: 8 - 45-minute periods/once a week
Goals and Objectives
The learner will be able to:
• explain why cave paintings were createdwhy they are significant.
• draw parallels between prehistoric art and
art that is made today.
• identify cave paintings (subjects, style,
• create art based on the cave paintings.
Essential Questions
• Why did people who lived many years
ago make art?
• Does art tell a story?
• Does art communicate ideas?
• Why do people who live today make art?
Unit Plan
• Students will be introduced to and
explore the Lascaux Cave in France.
• These animal paintings are considered to
be the beginning of art. They were
created about 17,000 years ago.
Click here for Unit Plan
Visit the Cave
• Click here to visit Lascaux
Ask before viewing:
• What animal images would you expect to see
at Lascaux?
• This Website is a virtual tour and very engaging.
• Students are encouraged to make sketches of the
animals to be used in the art project.
Interesting Cave Facts
• In 1940, 4 French teenagers accidentally
discovered the cave.
• The cave contained more than 600 paintings and
1500 engravings that are carved into the walls.
• The most popular animal is the horse, followed by
the bison.
• “Lascaux” is pronounced Lasco!
• The flute is the earliest known instrument, click
to hear a “bone” flute.
• First Painter by Kathryn Lasky:
Click on the book to view Storytelling Chart II:
This fictional book is set in prehistoric times and imagines what
inspired Mishoo, a young girl, to go to the cave and paint. The
book is based on archaeological findings and is beautifully
illustrated. The paintings are symbolic and powerful.
Story Support Materials
• “Telling a story is a way of establishing
meaning” (Egan,37).
First Painter Worksheet
Cool Cave Vocabulary Worksheet
“Cave Paintings and Rock Art”
• Click on picture to view this website:
• This website details the cave painters and their
• It discusses the colors and materials used in
the cave paintings.
• The dangers of caves are cited.
Cave Painting Project
• Students will create a large-scale “cave
painting” based on the cave at Lascaux.
• Click here for a lesson on using natural
materials to create “prehistoric paint.”
• Click on this picture for a cave painting
lesson plan (scale may be adjusted).
Science and the Cave
• In 1948, the Cave was open to daily tours for
thousands of people.
• This created a huge problem for the Cave!
• The breath of the tourists created carbon dioxide that
caused the paintings to deteriorate.
• Another problem was carried in by the shoes of the
tourists - algae - that began to grow on the walls and
cover the paintings.
• Calcite crystals also began to cover some of the
paintings due to the high temperatures, humidity, and
carbon dioxide levels caused by all of the tourists.
Lascaux II
• In order to save Lascaux from destruction,
the Cave was closed to the public in 1963.
• In 1983, Lascaux II was opened to the public
– technology re-created the original cave
and artwork. It is nearby the original site.
• Today, only a small number of scientists
and researchers are allowed to visit the
original Lascaux Cave.
“From Cave Art to Your Art”
• Extension Activity:
This website allows students to create
their own videos – it is an exciting
multimedia experience.
Click here for website
Dino Games
• Did cave painters live with dinosaurs?
• Movies and cartoons often show early humans
and dinosaurs living at the same time.
• This is a myth (a popular belief that is false).
• The dinosaurs were extinct, or no longer alive,
before people lived. The dinosaurs lived 65
million years before humans!
• Click here to play some fun dinosaur games.
• Students will discuss how their earlier ideas of
prehistoric people have changed after this
• In teams, students will complete a rubric to
assess their performances throughout the unit.
• The teams will share their findings with their
Click on clipboard for Rubrics
(for Teacher and Students)
Brainy Bits
Bloom's Revised Taxonomy:
• Creating: students produce a multimedia video.
• Evaluating: students critique their performances
and learning using a student rubric.
• Analysing: Students organize information in
order to answer story worksheet discussion
• Applying: students execute the painting of
original cave art.
• Understanding: students explain the culture of
prehistoric people and the cave from “First
• Remembering: students recall facts and
details from book, websites, and discussions.
Brainy Bits
Sense and Meaning:
• “What we call imagination is also a tool of learning…”
(Egan, 17).
• First Painter, the story that is used in this unit, draws
“on the engaging and communicative powers of the
story form” (Egan, 23).
• There are a number of ways that this story promotes
the storage of information.
Click here to learn more
More Brainy Bits &
• Click below to discover more Brainy Bits:
• Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences
• Gregorc's Learning Styles
Works Cited
• Click on the image for Works Cited:

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