Mexican Unit: Sombrero Art Project

My third grade classes are a creative and energetic bunch. They have a hard time sitting still. Instead of trying to reign them in, I take a different approach: offer a lesson as energetic as they are. For my Mexican Art Unit, I selected the sassy sombrero as my subject. The kids loved it and when I brought out the paints, these kids knew what to do. My art room was an explosion of color and style!

Here’s what you’ll need: 18″ x 24″ bright colored paper (I used red, orange and yellow), black oil pastel for drawing sombrero, scissors, white glue, tubs of bright tempera paints, lots of brushes, pans of sequins or other embellishments, black paint, tissue paper and paper scraps.

The students followed a simple directed line instruction for drawing the sombrero. Afterwards I brought out paints and placed six tubs of paint per table. My solution for keeping things relatively under control is to provide one brush per paint color. If that color is being used, a child must use another color. I rarely have more than 5 students at one table, so it seems to work.

At this point, we set the sombreros on a rack (barely fit!) and allowed them to dry.

The next class, children added more paint details and then outlined all of their patterns with black paint. Set a tray of sequins or embellishments, yarn and some paper scraps on a table and allow the children to decorate according to their tastes. This was a fun project. I didn’t work too hard trying to enforce standards, although we did look at the color wheel. Couldn’t find a picture book with a sombrero theme. Anyone know of one?

Third Grade Sombreros…

15 comments

  1. The sombreros turned out GREAT!! I’m putting them on the list for art projects in my classroom. Thanks! :)

  2. Christie says:

    WOW! These are terrific. I love the varied line motifs, the color, the detail AND the FRINGE!!!

  3. Janie B says:

    Love it! I think I’ll use this for Cinqo de Mayo.

  4. phyl says:

    Very colorful! What kind of glue did you use for sequins? I love ‘em , but always have trouble keeping them stuck.

  5. Kristyn says:

    The colors are wonderful! Did you use fluorescent tempera?

  6. Nic Hahn says:

    These are wonderful!! What a great project. You might see this from my classroom in the future. Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. Jacquelien says:

    These are so colourful, I love them!

  8. Amanda says:

    I love this lesson, and the paper fruit lesson too!
    If you are looking for a book to go with this, Uncle Nacho’s Hat by Harriet Rohmer is a possibility, found at Amazon: http://www.abebooks.co.uk/servlet/BookDetailsPL?bi=3904668073&searchurl=afn_sr%3DCJ%26isbn%3D9780892390434

  9. [...] Mexican Sombrero’s: Despite being hard to mount for the art show, these little numbers ticked every box of what makes a great art lesson: drawing lesson+mixing paint+lines+patterns+ embellishments=whole lot of creative fun. Need I say more? Here is the tutorial. [...]

  10. Alyssa says:

    I love this!! Diego Rivera has quite a few paintings of people wearing sombreros. However, his hats are nowhere near as colorful and interesting as the ones made by your kiddos.

  11. Jessica says:

    We LOVED making these! The kids were all holding them up to their heads so we took a 2″ strip of paper and made a headband then stapled the hats to it! They all wore their sombreros and had a BLAST!

  12. Debra says:

    A good story to use with this project would be Big Bushy Mustache. Beautiful project!

  13. [...] Mexican Sombrero’s: Despite being hard to mount for the art show, these little numbers ticked every box of what makes a great art lesson: drawing lesson+mixing paint+lines+patterns+ embellishments=whole lot of creative fun. Need I say more? Here is the tutorial. [...]

  14. Rome says:

    Love the sombreros, it goes perfectly with a HM story called Anthony Reynosos :)

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About Patty

Welcome to DSS. I'm an art teacher to 400 elementary kids in Goleta, California. This is where you will find a library of art lessons, handy PDF lesson plans and resources to make teaching art to kids a whole lot easier.
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