COURAGE – Seven Grandfather Teachings, Cree Métis Artist George Littlechild

Students use modelling clay to create a low relief sculpture that tells a personal story connected to the Grandfather Teaching courage/ bravery. Then they reflect on, and write about their experiences in life when they have needed courage.

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COURAGE – Seven Grandfather Teachings, Cree Métis Artist George Littlechild


  • Crayola Modeling Clay - Jumbo Pack
  • Crayola Watercolour Paints - 8 Count
  • Crayola Paint Brushes - 5 Count
  • Crayola Fine Line Markers - 12 Count
  • Crayola Marker & Watercolour Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12")
  • Crayola No-Run School Glue
  • Salt
  • Variety of Sculpture Tools
  • Flat Canvas Painting Boards - 15.2 cm x 20.3 cm (6" x 8")


Step 1
  1. Brainstorm the Grandfather teaching courage/ bravery.
  2. Use images and words to create a mind map about courage/ bravery.
  3. Describe and draw a life experience you have had where you needed to have courage and be brave.
  4. Explain the meaning of courage/ bravery.
  5. Remember a time when you stood up for something you believed in, how did you feel?
Step 2
  1. Close your eyes and think about a time in life when you have been courageous.
    - Where were you?
    - What were you doing?
    ​- Look around, what is the environment like?
    - What colour is the sky
    - What is the land like?
    - Are there buildings?
  2. Form a picture of the event in your mind's eye.
  3. Begin your artwork by gathering a variety of modelling clay colours and a flat canvas board.
  4. Create a background using colours and shapes that represent the environment you are in.
  5. Mix colours together to make new colours.
Step 3
  1. Reflect on why you needed to have courage and be brave.
  2. Create your self-portrait from modelling clay that contrasts against your background.
  3. Skin colours can be made from mixing white, yellow, red, and blue together.
  4. Experiment with different colour combinations.
  5. Begin your self-portrait with larger shapes.
Step 4
  1. Add detail to your face by using different colours and a variety of sculpture tools such as toothpicks, rollers, and combs.
Step 5
  1. Attach larger shapes onto your background by smoothing the edges together.
Step 6
  1. Add other animals, people, or plants to your background to create a story about a time in your life when you were brave and showed courage.
  2. Continue to add detail to your artwork.
  3. When it is complete reflect on the story you have told through your low relief sculpture.
Step 7
  1. Create a mat to frame your artwork.
  2. Begin your mat by painting watercolour paper with clear water.
  3. Brush watercolour paints in colours similar to an area in your low relief sculpture that is important to your story into the wet paper.
  4. Allow the paints to flow into each other naturally and fill the space.
Step 8
  1. Add salt to your painting while the paint is still wet to change the way the paints appear.
Step 9
  1. When your watercolour painting is dry attach your low relief sculpture to it using tape or glue.
  2. Reflect again on your story of courage/ bravery.
  3. Use your mind map, thoughts and feelings to write about your life experience, making connections to the Grandfather teaching courage/ bravery.
  4. Use a fine tip marker to write your ideas around the outer edge of the mat.
  • Subjects:

    • Language Arts,

    • Visual Arts,

    • First Nations, Metis, Inuit

  • Grades:

    • Grade 1,

    • Grade 2,

    • Grade 3,

    • Grade 4,

    • Grade 5,

    • Grade 6,

    • Grade 7,

    • Grade 8

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