Good Luck Animals

Teresa Strohl, Visual Art, Barringer Academic Center

Final Unit(pdf)   Implementing Teaching Standards(pdf)


This curriculum unit looks at the cognitive functions of the brain and how it shapes our perceptions of good/bad fortune primarily focusing on popular Japanese folklore. This unit will analyze the connections between Yin and Yang, feminine and masculine, right and left brain functions and good and bad fortune. This unit focuses on a Japanese Ceramic Artist, Jun Kaneko, and the geometric shapes and line designs he uses in his work. Kaneko creates large sculptures called Tanukis. Tanukis are from Japanese folklore believed to be tricksters that morph into other objects and are said to bring good fortune. The culminating project will be a large low relief tile installation of the students good luck animals. There will be a literacy component that enhances the connection between good fortune and the right and left brain functions. This curriculum unit will strive to strike a balance between the nurturing and intuitive right brain with the critical and logical left brain. This will be accomplished by reading two books, the Beckoning Cat by Koko Nishizuka and Momotaro and the Island of Ogres by Stephanie Wada, as well as playing interactive reading comprehension games and hands-on activities, such as creating ceramic tiles of good luck animals.