We are plunging in to some multi cultural lessons now that we are done with our unit of study on the elements of art. My intention is to create lessons that connect to the cultural backgrounds of my students (Mexico, Vietnam, Africa, India). I decided to start with Mexico because it is Day of the Dead season. There is a large Mexican American population at my school and several students were willing to share their families traditions.
To start this lesson off, I shared a you tube video to provide some additional background info on the holiday. We saw some good pictures of authentic ofrendas with pan de muerto, marigolds, sugar skulls, and pictures of loved ones. Students got a sense of how the holiday is celebrated in Mexico. Some meaningful conversations came up in small groups as students talked about people they knew that had passed on.
First, students sketched skulls in their skettchbooks. I provided several handouts to help guide them. Then they drew a large skull on drawing paper and decorated it in the style of a sugar skull. Again, I provided handouts to help inspire. I encouraged them to use their imagination and be original. They outlined their designs in sharpie and then painted them with water color. Finally, they added glitter highlights, cut it out, and glued it on to a black and white patterned paper.
I love the subtle expressions in every skull.