Turkey – Free Lesson Plan and Worksheets
Grade Level: K-2 Activity Time: 20-30 Minutes
- Turkey Brochure
- Pictures of Ebru Art
- Acrylic Paint
- Cookie sheet or aluminum tray
- Shaving Cream
- Popsicle stick
- Cardstock (you can use smaller pieces to make cards or larger pieces to make works of art)
- Ebru Tag Worksheet
Ask students if they’ve ever looked at a painting or been to a market that had art. What did the art look like? Could you tell what the painting was, or was it abstract? Abstract means the painting had lines and shapes, but it wasn’t obvious what the object in the picture was. Let students know Turkey is full of beautiful art. Large Turkish markets are full of woven rugs, embroidery, beautiful fabrics, spices, and art. Hundreds of thousands of people visit Turkey each year to explore the markets. One special type of Turkish art is called Ebru.
Ebru painting is a special type of “water art” used to produce unique and mesmerizing work. It’s particularly popular in Turkey. Artists use a water-based solution, dyes, and special tools to create one of a kind designs. Artists place dye on top of the water and use their special tools to create swirls, flowers, and other intricate designs. Since most of the art involves swirls and streaks, it is often called “paper marbling.”
It may be helpful to share this YouTube video of an Ebru artist with students, so they can see the process:
Ebru has been around since 1554. It used to be used as a form of fortune telling. Fortune tellers would throw paint on a water-based surface and interpret the meaning. Eventually, Ebru developed into a form of art. It was used to create frames, marble paper for books and other crafts.
Today, Ebru is sold as art. It can also sometimes used to decorate fabrics and greeting cards. You can find Ebru art at one of Turkey’s many markets. One of Turkey’s best known markets in Istanbul is called the “Grand Bazaar.” The Grand Bazaar has more than 5,000 shops that attract more than 400,000 tourists every year. Many people visit the Grand Bazaar to buy carpets, jewelry, embroidery, hand painted ceramics, spices, antiques, and art.
- Cover cookie sheet with shaving cream
- Drop paint onto the shaving cream
- Use popsicle stick to swirl the paint and create a design
- Lay the cardstock on top of the shaving cream and paint and press firmly
- Remove card stock and wait for about 1 minute
- Use a popsicle stick or butter knife to gently scrape away the extra shaving cream on the paper
- Let the paper dry
Have students share their Ebru Marbling Art with others. Encourage them to fill out the Ebru worksheet and share their answers to these questions:
- What are some pieces of art you know?
- Do these pieces of art look like Ebru? What does Ebru remind you of?
- How did you select the colors for your design?
- Is there any special meaning to your pattern?