Ishtar Gate Lion

Arts & Activities, October 2013 | Go to article overview

Ishtar Gate Lion


PRIMARY

Share the Art Print with students and explain that the lion is a re-creation of part of a much larger wall that was made over 2,500 years ago. Ask students to look quietly and carefully at the Art Print for a few minutes, and then ask volunteers to offer observations. Comments might include: the lion is made up of many different pieces; the lion's "fur" looks like stone, the lion's "mane" has a yellow diamond pattern; the lion looks to be walking on the top of a wall, the lion is roaring. List all observations.

Next, introduce the word "profile" and ask if any students know its meaning. Provide the definition*, and then have each student turn to the side of the student next to them to give them a chance to observe a human profile. Next, go back to the Art Print and trace the outline of the lion with your finger. Show students examples of lion in photographs seen both in profile and frontally.

Model drawing a lion in profile, and then give students scrap paper and time to do the same independently. Finally, give students a strip of paper that approximates the size of a brick. Have students draw a lion in profile on the brick and color it in any way they choose. Arrange the brick either in a row or along a wall of around the classroom door to create an architectural effect.

ELEMENTARY

Begin by completing the primary lesson, above. Extend the activity by teaching students how to make a bas-relief lion. There are many great online blogs and lesson plans with helpful lesson plans, such as the following: www. dreampraycreate.com/2011/05/lesson-idea-bas-reliefsculpted.html

MIDDLE SCHOOL

As part of middle-schoolers' study of ancient civilizations, use the Art Print to introduce art and mythology of the ancient Middle East. Share the Art Print with students, along with maps of Neo-Babylon and images of the reconstructed Ishtar Gate and Processional Way.

Spend time looking at the additional animal imagery found on the gate, and give students time to create a mixed-media "brick" inspired by the Art Print. …

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