African Arts PDF


African Arts is a hands-on unit for all ages from 6 to 18 about the modern and traditional art of Africa. Learn about themes, natural inspiration, social messages, and personal expression in African art from textiles to sculpture.


African Arts is the seventh unit in the Colonial Period Arts course. In this unit you will learn about the arts of various regions of Africa including textiles, sculpture, paintings, masks, and body art. This unit covers modern African art as well as traditional arts across the continent.

This unit contains sections on:

  • Themes
  • Traditional Art Forms

Layers of Learning is an activity-based program. The mentor chooses from among the activities in the unit to create mental hooks for learning. Some of the activities in this unit include:

  • Paint a canvas with a tutorial using African colors and landscape as inspiration
  • Sculpt your own terracotta figure
  • Create your own version of a nkondi doll
  • Analyze street art of an elephant on the wall of a building in South Africa
  • Paint rock art in the style of ancient African artists
  • Design and craft your own mask from cardboard and paint
  • Make a notebooking page in your Art Sketchbook about textiles including actual weaving
  • Make your own African animal painting
  • Plus much more!

Each Layers of Learning Arts unit includes library lists of books, a family read-aloud suggestion, hands-on activities, printables and paper crafts, sidebars for extra learning, and tools to help you assess student’s progress and mastery. You can learn more about how Layers of Learning works in the Curriculum Guide or learn to teach art with the Arts Guidebook for mentors.

See Inside

Here is the inside view of a double page spread from African Arts:


African Arts spread

The curriculum is pick-and-choose, so you select which Explorations you would like to do out of the many choices.


This unit was written to be used for a month but contains plenty of content for many more weeks of learning if you choose. This is a pick-and-choose curriculum, meant to be cycled back to in the future when your child is older. As such, it intentionally includes far more material than you can possibly cover in a month.

African Arts is also part of the overall Colonial Period Arts course, the third Year of the four year Layers of Learning Arts cycle. If you use the program in order, it will take you though the art in chronological order, tracking with the Layers of Learning History units. However, each unit stands alone and can be used independently of any other unit.

Printable Pack

This unit comes with a downloadable Printable Pack that includes all the student worksheets. The printables can be copied as many times as needed for your family or class. You can download the Printable Pack from your receipt or from your account at Layers of Learning.  


African Arts Printable Pack

Extra Resources

This unit comes with extra weblinks and a YouTube video playlist on the Colonial Period Arts Resources page.


PDF Download








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