Three times a week, we host a Diorama class in our studio with 5 Brooklyn kid artists between Kindergarten and Third grade. At the end of the week our Advanced Diorama class comes over, and we have been so impressed with their progress. For three weeks we have been making a miniature Yihakan in the Powhatan Indian style. First, we built our Yihakans with wooden panels, cardboard, and plaster strips. When we ran out of strips we mixed flour + water for a homemade papier mache.
Then, the children planned their space, inside and outside of their Yihakans. The outside space was divided into neat rows, divided by lines of rocks that they glued down using a low temp hot glue gun.
They made vegetables for their gardens, corn and pumpkin, using a very pliable non-hardening clay (Sargent Clay is our favorite). They used that clay to make a stone fire pit, and the hole in their roof will allow the smoke to escape.
During the second class we discussed the true legend of Pocahontas and the kids painted the story, painting the characters: Pocahontas, Chief Powhatan, John Smith, and John Rolfe.
On the last class we discussed the characteristics of a legend and the kids enjoyed writing their own legend and painting a night sky behind their mini-Powhatan world.