ART with Christie Hester-Moore

Upper and Lower Elementary Art

It's hard to believe that we are already in December. As you know from last month's newsletter, we recently completed our study of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. I decided that it would be a fun, interesting and informative lesson plan to learn about the Mexican holiday "Dia Los Muerto". This holiday takes place on November 1 and 2, it is also known as Day of the Dead or All Soul's Day.

Dia Los Muertos was one of Frida Kahlos's favorite holidays. This holiday allows families to dedicate time each year to honor those who have passed away. The holiday is viewed as a happy time to remember family and friends. People gather together for Church services, picnics, dancing, and singing while reconnecting with their roots.

Skeletons play a large role in the celebration of Dia Los Muertos and are not viewed as something scary. They are used as decorations and people will often dress up in skeleton costumes for parades and parties. You will also find displays of elaborately dress paper-mache skeletons.

The students viewed pictures of some of the decorations and displays that are set up in honor of this holiday. Paula was kind of enough to share an authentic Dia Los Muertos skeleton she received as a gift that the students found quite interesting. We discussed the significance of this holiday in the Mexican culture and related it to some of holidays that we celebrate that honor someone or something (For example Memorial Day, Veterans' day and Mother's day). The students then built their own skeletons. We started by creating armatures out of aluminum foil and then covered the armatures with plaster cloth. Once dry, each student painted details on to their skeletons using acrylic paints. After the paint dried students designed outfits and accessories for their skeleton using felt, tissues paper and found objects.

Students really enjoyed this lesson and came away with an understanding of a holiday that is important to many within the Mexican culture. They also could see the correlation between this holiday meant to honor loved ones with different holidays and traditions they might celebrated in their own lives.

I like to end by letting parents know that if you have any questions or concerns in regards to material used in class in relation to allergies or for any other reason please don't hesitate to drop me a line. My goal is always to have a safe and enjoyable art experience in class.

Happy holidays and all the best in the coming year!

Pioneer Valley Montessori School, 1524 Parker Street, Springfield, MA 01129 • 413-782-3108

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