Make an Amistad Chain to Represent Friendship – Black History Month (Art Project)

The word Amistad means Friendship. During Black History Month this word often comes up because it was also the name, ironically, of one of the slave ships taking unknowing people from Africa to America where they would suffer the fate of slavery. Yet Amistad has come to represent much more–the hard work and friendships of abolitionists and activists that fought for a society free of slavery. This is a perfect opportunity to talk about friendship with your child. What does friendship mean? How is your child able to see the good in their friends, even if they are very different? Using a paper chain, your child will explore her own thoughts on friendship.

What You Need:

  • colored construction paper
  • scissors
  • markers or crayons
  • sheet of paper
  • tape

What You Do:

  1. Explain to your child the meaning of Amistad, then ask what friendship means to him. What does your child look for in a friend? How does he reciprocate friendship? What does being a good friend mean? Is friendship everlasting or unconditional? After this initial discussion, ask your child to make a list of sentences or words that he associates with friendship, Amistad.
  2. Now help your child to cut out strips of paper, one for each of the sentence or word on the list. Cut the construction paper along the longest side, about one inch thick. After all of the strips have, lay them flat on the table.
  3. Ask your child to then write down on each chain link one word, phrase, or sentence about friendship.
  4. Once each chain link is written on you will help your child form the paper chain by taking each strip and folding it into a circle. Make sure the written words are on the outside. Then hold the strip in the circle shape by putting a bit of tape at the two meeting points. For each chain link that your child adds make sure he forms the circle by slipping it around the loop of the previous link, taping it off, and continuing on to the next one.
  5. Hang it in a place to remind your child what true frienship means. 

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