Friday, September 30, 2011

Second Grade Day of the Dead Calaveras

 Second grade is traveling to Mexico, Central America and South America in the art room this year. For our first project, they created their very own Day of the Dead (Dia de los muertos) Calaveras (skulls).

This worked out well for my 98% Hispanic school. The students were actually able to give me information about the holiday that I didn't know.

We started out by looking at a variety of calaveras to get their creativity flowing. They made a quick drawing in their sketchbook to show what they wanted it to look like.

Then came the fun part. If you have never worked with Claycrete before- I highly recommend it! I order mine from Sax 
and a 20 lb box is usually enough to get me through an entire grade level. I give each student their own individual bowl with a heaping 
handful of Claycrete. I pour about 3/4-1 cup of water into it and about 3 tbsp. of glue. They use their hands to mix it up really well. I go around with a pitcher of water and add water to the bowls that are too dry. It should not be dripping wet, but the entire mixture should be moist.

Once it is completely mixed, pass out a skull pattern to each student. This is just a basic shape that I drew and xeroxed. I also give each student a piece of wax paper with a small piece of masking tape on it (to write their names on).

The wax paper goes on top of the pattern (you can see the pattern through the wax paper, without getting Claycrete all over it). The students put the Claycrete onto the wax paper and begin forming their skull. It should be about 1/2"-3/4" thick and smooth.
By the next week, the skulls are dry and we choose 1 color to paint the entire surface. I use acrylic paint for this (I'm not sure if
 tempera would work or not). Then they add facial features and designs with other colors.

The last step is to use beads, sequins, and broken pieces of jewelry (I have tubs of discarded jewelry that were donated by a local store- Charming Charlie's http://www.charmingcharlie.com/home. That was a HUGE hit!!!) I had them glue these on with craft glue, instead of school glue and that seemed to hold the pieces on a lot better.

I have been putting all of the finished projects into a display case in our main entryway. There are still 2 classes that need to finish this week, but I will add pictures of the finished display once they are complete.


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