Stories on Rock


For thousands of years, people have carved or painted ideas on rocks.

You've heard about the rock art in the deserts of the Southwest US. What about the rock art in your area? Create your own rock art exhibit.

The Mission

Learn about rock art. Create your own rock art. Learn about local rock art and create your own exhibit.

The Process

Activity 1:

Find a reading buddy. Talk about what you already know about rock art. Then, read about it. Talk about the new things you learned.

Choose an option that fits your information need:

Activity 2:

Create your own rock art. Find some flat rocks.They don't have to be perfect. Sometimes the most interesting rocks have strange shapes, holes, or bumps. Wash them. Use paint or permanent markers to create pictures. You can use clear acrylic spray to make your art more permanent. Choose one of the following topics:

  • Reproduce pictures you've seen in books or online.
  • Combine pictures you've seen with your own ideas.
  • Create your own designs based on your life.

Write a description to go with your rock. Is your rock a petroglyph or pictograph? How is your rock like the ancient rock art? How is it different?

Create a virtual museum of rock art from all over the world. Or, have a rock art show to share your rocks with another class. You might also take photos of your rocks and put them on the Internet.

Activity 3:

Identify rock art in your area. If there's no rock art where you live, find out why. Create a mural showing the history of your area in pictures. Choose one of the following activities:

  • Recreate your local rock art.
  • Create a mural showing your local history.
  • Choose an event from history and create a visual.
  • Create a mural showing local plants and/or animals.
  • Create a mural that shows the world today in pictures.

Activity 4:

Plan a visit to a rock art site. What would you take on your trip? What would you do when you got to the rock art?

The Conclusion

Even though we know much about rock art, there's still much to learn. We can only guess about the artists who created these works of art. Choose a piece of rock art. Write about what you think the artist was thinking or doing when he or she drew the picture.


Note: All photographs taken with a digital camera in New Mexico, Texas, Arizona and Utah.
Developed by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 05/02.