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Mexican Unit

How to Make a Papel Picado

How to Make a Papel Picado

By on Sep 30, 2016 | 3 comments

TRADITIONAL MEXICAN PAPEL PICADO Papel Picado is a traditional Mexican craft that features colorful paper sheets with intricate cut out details.  It was made by stacking many sheets of paper and using chisels to cut the designs. You can easily make your own Papel Picado by layering sheets of tissue paper and using scissors to cut the designs. EARLY FINISHER OR SUB PLAN PROJECT This is a great free choice activity or a lesson for a sub. Laminate the instructions and place on a table. Add a tray of pre-cut tissue papers, a bowl of scissors and allow the children to create a papel picado during free-choice time. WHAT YOU’LL NEED: Colored tissue paper (12 x 9 approximately) Scissors Marker Yarn and Tape to display Papel Picados INSTRUCTIONS: Fold a piece of tissue paper (lengthwise) in half and then in half again. Make sure one side consist only of folds. Fold the long folded sheet in half. Mark a dot in the corner that is made up of folds. This helps the children recognize where not to cut. Just like cutting a snowflake, cut shapes along all four sides avoiding the area with the dot. To cut a shape from the middle of the rectangle, fold the paper in half again, and cut a shape into the fold. Unfold carefully and tape tissue paper to a long string of yarn. To make multiple panels from one cut, layer 2-3 sheets of tissue paper together ad tape (carefully) while cutting. INSTRUCTIONAL DOWNLOAD Would you like a copy of the instructions?  Click the red box below, fill out your name and email (careful with spelling!) and we’ll send you a free instruction PDF...

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Diego Rivera’s Mother’s Helper Art Lesson

Diego Rivera’s Mother’s Helper Art Lesson

By on Jul 30, 2012 | 17 comments

Diego Rivera is one of the most famous painters in the twentieth century. After studying in Spain and France, he returned to his homeland of Mexico. There he travelled across the country, exploring the cultures, architecture and history of the different regions. Returning to Mexico City, Diego began painting murals for which he became famous. His painting “Mother’s Helpers” contains all the wonderful elements Diego Rivera is famous for: deep, rich tones, depiction of Mexico farm life and dark outlines.  The Drawing Fourth grade students used a black oil pastel and purple 12″ x 18″ sulphite paper to sketch the woman and child. I helped them along by drawing the steps on the whiteboard how to draw the girl and the woman. Take some time to point out the gentle slope of the woman’s head, shoulders and back. The line extends from the top of her head to the curve of her knee. So simple and beautiful. Point out that the heads are out of proportion with the bodies and that children shouldn’t worry if their bodies and heads are perfect. If it works for Diego, it’ll for for them!   The Coloring I place trays of chalk pastels on each table. Use newspapers to cover the desks. Here are a few tips for working with chalk: Understand that chalk is a messy medium and that it’s okay for a child to get messy. Clean-up is easy with baby wipes placed at the end of each table. Use one finger to blend chalk. Think of moving the finger around in little circles, pressing the chalk into the paper fibers. Use a flat end of the chalk whenever possible for this lesson. Children will want to avoid using a sharp angle to color as it takes longer. Spraying often distorts the artwork so I rarely spray. Instead, I use newspaper to cover the artwork. The Outlining The final step is to use a black oil pastel and a black chalk pastel to outline and to add shadow and depth. This is one of the few times I allow my students to use black chalk pastel. Most of the time, it is hidden away in a separate box! Fourth grade Diego...

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Frida and Diego Art Lesson Plans

Frida and Diego Art Lesson Plans

By on Apr 13, 2011 | 2 comments

Frida Kahloand Diego Rivera are two of Mexico’s most celebrated artists.  I adore all art from Mexico. There is an element of color and composition that evokes wonderful emotions. I’m always looking for inspirational pieces to round out my art curriculum and especially showcase artists from Mexico. These two lessons feature elements of Frida and Diego’s art: Frida’s Portraits and Diego’s symmetrical flower venders. Frida Kahlo Portrait:  David Diaz’s illustrations in Amy Novesky’s Me, Frida is a perfectcompanion to this lesson. The story has visually stunning pictures and brings Frida to life. I developed a portrait lesson based on the cover art using a paper folding technique that makes it easy for all children to master facial proportions. Diego Rivera’s “El Vendedor de Alcatraces”is visually dynamic with it’s strong color contrasts and symmetry.  Using the latter concept, I built a lesson based on symmetry. We dissected the drawing and magically made it appear again. Clever art techniques engage the students every time! The results are stunning. Original Deep Space Sparkle Handouts Include… Frida Portrait Face Guide Step-by-Step Visual Drawing Aid for “El Vendedor de Alcatraces” Teacher Script and visual drawing aid for “El Vendedor de Alcatraces” The 16-page booklet includes detailed photo-tutorials to guide you and your students every step of the way. Full student galleries, website suggestions and detailed drawing guides included. A perfect addition to your art lesson repertoire....

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Mexican Unit: Chalk Adobe

Mexican Unit: Chalk Adobe

By on Feb 25, 2011 | 21 comments

Want a quick, easy project where every student is successful? This is it! The best part about teaching art is seeing how my students respond to a new lesson. I’m not a scientist, but boy, it sure is interesting to see if my expectations line up with reality. This lesson exceeded it. Continuing with my Mexican unit, fifth graders drew adobes with colored chalk and oil pastels.   So here’s what we did: Take a 12″ x 18″ black sheet of paper and fold in half. This is my way of protecting the artwork from the chalk. Using a black oil pastel, draw adobe shapes. Using the handout (provided!) children drew adobes starting at the bottom of the paper and moving upwards. I encouraged simple shapes. Fill in with adobe colored chalk pastel. Talk about contrasts: brown adobe with a bright teal door, etc. Define lines by using the black oil pastel to trace over all original lines. This step really makes the colors pop, so don’t skip over it! When the picture is complete, fold the black paper over the artwork. This keeps the chalk from smearing during storage. When the time comes to display the artwork, cut off the extra paper. Fifth Grade Efforts:   Click to Download Free Handout: Adobe Drawing Aid...

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Aztec Warriors

Aztec Warriors

By on Feb 21, 2011 | 6 comments

Aztec Warriors are really fun to draw. Using few supplies (black waterproof marker, colored broad tip markers and paper) my sixth graders dove straight into the drawing with a black marker. When you look at the gallery, it’s hard to believe that no pencils were involved, but they weren’t necessary. I recently discussed the pros and cons of using pencils in the art room in this post. This lesson is a prefect example of teaching drawing techniques and how to use mistake lines to enhance your drawing. The kids did really well and they loved the energy of the final piece. I personally love the facial expressions–so serious, yet funny! This lesson was inspired by an article in the LA Times featuring an exhibit at the Getty museum in Los Angeles. For a detailed look at the process of drawing the ancient aztec figures through tutorials and drawing handouts, you might want to check out my Art lesson Booklet  Art from Around the World PDF Art Booklet. Sixth Grade Efforts!...

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Mexican Unit: Fruit Crate Art Project

Mexican Unit: Fruit Crate Art Project

By on Feb 15, 2011 | 9 comments

Continuing with our Mexico-themed art lessons, second graders created “Market Day” fruit crates. The project took three 45-minute sessions. First session: the students created their own painted paper.  Second session: students free-cut (organic shapes) fruit and vegetables.  Third session: they created a wooden crate from brown paper, added a colorful border and glued all the pieces together. For a final flourish, the children glued vintage fruit crate labels to their crates. I found them at Now and Then Designs on Flickr. Click on this link to read about How to Make Painted Paper Use old “placemats” cut into long strips as a colorful border.       Second Grade fruit and vegetable crates!...

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