Learning About Guatemala Through Its Kites: Radial Balance in the Giant Kites of Guatemala

Level: Intermediate (3-5/6) Middle (6-8)
Grade from: 4
Grade to: 9
Length: 1 session (30 – 50 minutes)
Cultural Studies Integration:

Focus: 

These materials support review of a visual art principle—radial balance—in the medium of kites, with which students are less likely to be familiar than they are with drawings or paintings. If students are not already familiar with this visual art principle, consult a standard art education textbook for guidance.

Curriculum Integration: 

Visual Arts: radial balance; two-dimensional design

Cultural Studies Integration: Central America

Materials: 

Downloaded images of the Giant Kites of Guatemala (see below)

Discussion cues (PDF file)

Paper and drawing materials (colored pencils, crayons, markers, and/or oil pastels), per student

Discussion:

Read the discussion prompts for background information or discussion cues. Introduce students to the principle of radial balance, a design that radiates from a central point, and look at various ways in which this principle is used in the design of different kites.

Practice:

Using the last image as a model, ask students to create a radially balanced design, with some variety within a motif. For assessment, ask each student to exchange her/his design with a classmate; write a short paragraph describing the classmate’s use of a radial design and of variety within a repeated motif.

Related Past Projects: 
Guatemala Project 2005
Related Past Projects: 
Kite Curriculum Project