Free Mini Art Lesson for Children: “Animals Like Us” For Lunar New Year

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For Lunar New Year, celebrate our connection with animals with a fun sheep art project based on discussions of French artist Jean Dubuffet’s The Cow with a Subtle Nose.

The sheep is one of 12 animal signs from the Chinese zodiac that is determined by the lunar calendar. It is believed people born in a particular year of the 12-year cycle displays the characteristics of the animal of the year they were born.

Like the Chinese, other cultures have held animals in various esteem, such as the Native Americans and bisons, Inuits and whales, and ancient Egyptians and cats. From animal depictions in cave paintings to canoe carvings, humans reveal their vast connection to animals through art.

Use this lesson with your children to further explore their relationships with animals and pets. Which animal(s) do they connect most with? Of the 12 zodiac animals, which best resembles their personality? Do animals resemble us, experiencing feelings of hurt, anger, happiness, or sadness as humans do?

Discuss Jean Dubuffet’s animal, and then create your own!

Download this free Dubuffet mini art lesson.

Art in Action is a national nonprofit that creates comprehensive, easy-to-teach visual arts curriculum for Kindergarten through 8th grade students.  We invite you to try a full lesson from our 3rd grade curriculum by submitting the form below.

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