An Artist's Quest

Dia De Los Muertos

A sampling of first graders happy dancing skeletons

A sampling of first graders happy dancing skeletons

As you know fall is in the air and Halloween is just around the corner. I like to take this opportunity to share some of the fabulous art that surrounds the Dia de los Muertos tradition in Mexico. The majority of my kindergarten and 1st grade art students are immigrants and they get very excited when I share art that connects to their family background. Many of the kids don’t know much about Dia de los Muertos at 5 and 6 years old they are already in all American mode talking about their ninja turtle and frozen princess costumes, so I love being able to share another side of the season with them. I showed them lots of pictures of traditional art around this celebration. We started by making our papel picada background echoing the elaborate tissue paper cutout that hang in bright strings. Because tissue paper is hard to cut for anyone and especially wee one like I teach, we used astro bright office type paper cut in quarters and folded (like a snow flake) then they sniped out triangles. Their faces as they opened the cut paper was magical they were so thrilled at what they had made. They then glued this to black paper. The following week we made our dancing skeletons. I gave them the skull and hip bone shapes (see pdf below) and cut thin strips for them to use as bones. As a finishing touch I gave them tissue paper strips for them to glue on to give their dancing skeletons a bit of pom pom fun.

A sampling of Kinder dancing skeletons- they did pretty good with the scissors don't you think?!

A sampling of Kinder dancing skeletons- they did pretty good with the scissors don’t you think?!

I am sharing all this detail with you so all you elementary teachers and craftsy parents don’t have to reinvent the wheel! I am including the pdf of the skull and hipbones here. I printed it on white card stock and then cut it into 4 sets use the extra white around the edges to cut thin quarter inch or less strips for bones. I was inspired by a post I saw on Pinterest with similar skeletons I added the cut paper idea which I think gives a great bright background and another teaching opportunity to share about the wonder art of Mexico! Pass this lesson on to all you teacher friends!

Please copy this and use it - no reason to reinvent the wheel - TEACHERS UNITE! and have fun!

Please copy this and use it – no reason to reinvent the wheel – TEACHERS UNITE! and have fun!

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One response

  1. Mary

    😀 What fun!

    October 22, 2015 at 1:45 pm

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