Term: 4 Year: 2007
Where does one begin? Sights – the most remarkable and colourful such as the Sahara desert. Scenes
that are the most ridiculous – such as trees full of goats that are gorging on nuts of the Argan tree and sheep
tied down on roof racks of taxis going on a journey from which they will not return. Smells – from the
sublime to the revolting. Sound – the call to prayer which is like a competition across cities with romantic
names such as Marrakech, Fez and Casablanca at regular intervals from dawn until dusk.
As an art teacher where does this lead? Indirectly, to discussions about a culture which is very different
but also has common elements such as school, brothers and sisters and religion. Directly, to the development
of a unit of work on Moroccan villages which was studied by students in Year 1 through to Year 4. By studying
photographs of Moroccan villages and Kasbahs, students discovered that the housing was made from materials sourced
from surrounding countryside. Sloppy mud bricks were made, poured into rectangular boxes until set and then
sun dried. The resulting buildings are very organic and decorated by etching into bricks with geometric patterns.
All students were shown how to illustrate 3 dimensional shapes, particularly rectangular prisms. It was noted
how the villages seemed to tumble down the mountain with buildings adjoining each other rather than ¼ acre
blocks. The students became aware of perspective with buildings becoming smaller as they became further away.
The other focus was on light and shade with students deciding where the light source was coming from and therefore
which side of the house is in shade.
A second unit was developed with Year 4 students creating a Moroccan street scape with slab tiles and various patterns
and textures pressed in or added on. This reinforced the concept of crowded living conditions in village life.
It is important for children to realise that this is a difference, not a negative. Although their children
do not have a front/backyard to play in, they gave endless mountains, plains and oases.
I look forward to visiting again in the next year or so to see where the Sahara meets the sea and many more memorable
Level 2 – 3
Strathcona Baptist Girls Grammar School