Teaching Pysankarstvo:

Didactic Information

 
 

While you could simply put out supplies and let your students start writing pysanky after a breif “how to” talk, I like to present some background material along with the technical instructions.  Just how much didactic background material you can present depends on the age and attention span of your students, what previous experience they’re had, as well as the time you have allotted for class.

When teaching older students and adults, I like to present some history of pysankarstvo (including folk beliefs and talismanic uses), and an explanation of the symbolism (and their evolution over time), time allowing.  If I have the opportunity, I will try to do so with the younger students, too, but in a more abbreviated manner. Adults and children find our old customs and traditions, as well as the pagan pantheon, fascinating.

I find that posters or a small flip chart with illustrations of the symbols to be quite helpful here. My Kids' Handout has several pages of symbols, which many of my students find useful, and use when creating their own designs.  A sample page is shown here:




The younger students also find pysanka legends to be interesting, so I might include one or two of those. There are several included in the handout, and on the pages here.

For information and suggestions on more practical pysankarstvo instruction, proceed to the next page.




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