Aboriginal Art: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Jennifer Lowery

Jennifer has taught elementary levels K-3 and has master's degrees in elementary education and curriculum/instruction and educational leadership.

For thousands of years, Aborigines have been creating unique works of art in Australia. In this lesson, learn who the Aborigines are, and find out about the different kinds of art they have created throughout history.

Who Are the Aborigines?

Do you ever wonder who might have been the first people to live where you live now? You'd have to travel back in time thousands of years to learn about aborigines, or those who were the first people to live in an area. However, this term usually applies to Australian Aborigines, the group of people native to Australia. These native people were the first to live on the continent, and there are people living there today that have Aboriginal ancestors. Let's find out about the beautiful works of art the Aborigines of Australia have created over the years.

Rock Art

One of the most famous types of art created by Aborigines is rock art. These were pictures that were either painted or carved into the caves and rocks found in Australia. Sometimes the rock art included geometric designs like circles and patterns, but other times the Aborigines would create silhouettes of animals or humans. A silhouette is the darker outline or shape of something that is usually against a lighter background. Rock art can be found throughout the Australian continent.

Aboriginal rock art often included silhouettes of animals or people.

Dots Everywhere!

If you like drawing designs by connecting dots, then you'll love the dot art created by Aborigines! Many years ago, Aborigines used paint to create dot designs on their bodies for rituals and ceremonies. About fifty years ago, artists decided to put these dot designs onto a canvas. These dot drawings are perhaps one of the best known forms of Aboriginal art.

Dot art was originally used to decorate the skin of Aborigines, but it is now often created on canvas.

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