“Did people back then have long hair?”
The voice came from the back of Melissa Davenport’s classroom at Christian Academy of Knoxville. Social studies students were painting on cave walls.
Davenport explains: “We have been covering the Paleolithic Age and learning about cave art left behind by early humans. Students explored the subjects of these early cave paintings: bison, buffalo, deer, hunting scenes, etc. and why the Paleolithic people would have included them in their artwork.”
The class discussed what can be learned about their ancestors through their art.
“Then I turned the classroom itself into a cave, making it dark and cold and playing ‘cave sounds’ like dripping water and crickets.
“The desks transformed into little caves with the help of blankets and flashlights, and paper was taped to the underside of the desks so students could create their own cave art replicas. The students also made a hand mural, just like the ones found in a few caves in Spain and France.”
Davenport does this project every year and says it’s usually a favorite of the kids. “Students have so many different learning styles, so being creative with lessons is something I strive to do. Learning hands-on, or through experience, is a way everyone can connect with history.”
Julya Johnson, director of communications at CAK, alerted media about the project because of the great photo opportunities. Since Knox County schools were closed for in-service on Aug. 27, CAK invited fifth graders who might consider attending CAK Middle School next year. “They were Warriors for one day,” she said.
Did those cave early artists have long hair? We’re guessing yes. The Gambuzzas hadn’t yet opened their salons.