I try to teach a very multicultural curriculum in my art room. Although I may not be completely versed in all types and forms of art history I tend to do a serious amount of research before teaching the topics to my students.
Here in Maryland, 7th grade students cover both Ancient and Modern China in Social Studies. I love the idea of matching what they are learning in their core classes to art that I had to jump on this chance.
Here I covered the history behind Chinese Calligraphy and we discussed the popularity of the Calligraphy Characters as tattoos. I gave the students a list of commonly used Chinese Characters and they had to choose three that represented parts of themselves like honesty, trustworthy, courage, etc.
The only hard part was to use the calligraphy brushes in the traditional manner. Trust me when I tell you that creating Chinese Calligraphy isnt as easy as one would think. This art form takes years and years of practice to get it right. After one afternoon of trying to do it told me that I dont have the patience to study Chinese Calligraphy.
But the students loved it!!! All my other grades wanted to do the project and didnt understand why they couldnt. My answer to them was that each grade does different projects just like in the core classes they learn different topics and study different things each year. Well, that didnt go over very well. But my 6th graders are really excited to do this project next year.