Towers, Turrets, and domes
Over time I have developed different unit studies for each grade level based on art, culture, and celebrations from around the world. In fifth grade we looked at Latin America and art forms such as; amate painting, huichol string art, etc. (you can see the previous post here). I find it's around this time of year, I'm over doing anything that has to do with snow and kids are antsy from not getting outside and these intense projects work well as a distraction.
In third and fourth grade we are looking at art from Asia, with an emphasis in third grade on India and Pakistan. Third graders began their Cultural Asia unit by looking at examples of Mughal architecture. Mughal architecture is the architectural style developed by the Mughals in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries throughout the extent of their empire in the Indian subcontinent. It is an amalgam of Islamic, Persian, and Indian architecture. Examples of this style can be found in India, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
The Taj Mahal is considered "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage," which should be reason enough to visit its vaulted walls and beautiful gardens; but what's more, it was built from 1632-1653 by the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his third wife, Mumtaz Mahal.
Viewing images, students were taught to identify towers, turrets, and domes as well as the intricate and elaborate architectural details that are commonly found in Muslim artwork, such as geometric elements, plants, and flowers. Third grade students were asked to design a building that included at least 2 towers and 1 dome. It also had to remain symmetrical in design and include elaborate and intricate architectural details that were commonly found in Mughal architecture as well as many other areas of both Hindi and Islamic art and culture.
Click below to view resources that I commonly call upon for this entire unit
Below is the rubric that I use with third grade, in case you want to use it as reference: