We have been using some of the Berry Street Education Model (BSEM) tools such as the Ready-to-Learn scale in Art. During initial instructions, students show with 1, 2, or 3 fingers how ready they are to start their learning in Art. During independent learning, students then have an opportunity to use a ready to learn strategy or talk through an issue with the teacher.
This week students dressed up and acted out hitting a piñata. Students will use these photos as a reference for their drawing when creating their own artworks.
To get inspiration Grade 1 and 2 students have watched a video about a family that makes and sells piñatas in Mexico.
While the main focus was looking at the imagery, we also read some of the subtitles and discovered the most expensive piñata was 600 pesos. How much is that in Australian dollars? You can answer in the comments section!
Earlier in Term 2, students in grade 1 and 2 spent time finishing off their Egyptian portraits from Term 1. Here’s some of their completed artworks!
Mexican Folk Art
In Term 2, students will be making a collage based on the story book The Blue Frog and the Legend of Chocolate. They will learn about characters from Aztec mythology; the Sun God, Wind God, Rana Azul, the blue frog, and of course they will learn about how chocolate is made. During the collage making process, students will experience range of materials and techniques including stamping with acrylic paint, mixing colours with ink wash and crayon resist. They will also practice paper craft techniques including folding and cutting to create symmetrical shapes, fringing, scrunching and layering.
Grade 1 and 2
In term 2, students will be making a collage of a pinata party scene. They will be introduced to the subject matter by reading The Pinata that the Farm Maiden Hung and then they will learn about the artist Diego Rivera. They will discuss how his large mural paintings show a narrative and look closely at his painting ‘La Pinata’. Student will have opportunities to further develop their figure drawing skills when they photograph each other in different poses and use these as a reference for their drawings.
Grade 3 and 4
In term 2, students will create an artwork based on the folk art of Sacred Heart Milagros which were traditionally used as good luck charms or to heal the sick. They will learn about the cultural and historical context of these objects which the Spanish brought to Mexico during colonisation. They will create their own design by including symbols of personal significance then etch this into silver cardboard and decorate with pattern and colour. Students will also learn about the conventions of folk art as a distinctive style.
Grade 5 and 6
In term 2, students will create Alebrije monsters which are made by combining different animal features into a fantasy creature. We will use Chromebooks to individualise the project by enabling students to collect their own animal inspiration images. Students will make their Alebrijes with paper mâché and decorate with bright colours and pattern. Although these creatures are not a traditional part of Day of the Dead celebrations, they are featured in the animated film Coco. Students will also learn about the conventions of folk art as a distinctive style.
I am so excited to be teaching art this year and to share my passion for this subject with students. As many of you will know I have been a classroom teacher at Bell Primary for four years. Running after school and holiday art workshops, painting a mural as an artist in residence at Fitzroy Primary and Loyola Collage, and being the volunteer and schools program coordinator at Seventh Artist Run Space in Fitzroy is just some of the previous experience that I bring to this new role.
Last year I traveled in the United States, Mexico, Central America and South America. Some highlights included hiking in icy Patagonia, seeing a wild leopard in the Amazonian jungle in Bolivia and painting a large mural for a café as part as a work exchange. I also spent around a month in Oaxaca, Mexico which is known for it’s strong cultural heritage and I have drawn on this experience to plan this term’s Mexican Folk Art unit.