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 Berenice Abbott
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 Georgia O'Keeffe
 Vincent van Gogh

Inner Worlds What is Art?   Identity Designing Spaces and Places
Mexico (Nayarit)
Teacher Lessons
Title: Mexican Cultural Traditions
Creator: Elaine Munson (Art), Danube Middle School, Danube, MN

Objectives:

History: Mexico is the largest country in Middle America. The land was settled by the Spaniards. The Aztec Indians who lived there were a very civilized people. They knew how to build fine buildings, farm, and mine. They also had a calendar and a written language with a good government. In Mexico you will find things that are both Spanish and Indian. The Indians and the Spaniards make up the mixture in the population.

The Mexican people are very proud of their Indian heritage. The people of mixed Spanish and Indian blood are called mestizoes.

Mexican people still practice some of the customs of these ancient ancestors. Our lessons will deal with three of these customs.

Production:

Production is done by a presentation by two Hispanic students from the art classes. They will tell us and demonstrate for us with artifacts that relate to the subject. They will share pictures of family members doing the things that the lesson is based on. They will play Mexican music during the presentation. Also to be shown in a class critique will be clay objects that the students have made. Clay products are a product that is popular in Mexico.

Materials Needed:

  • Clay for the pottery classes.
  • Pretty party type dress (pink)
  • jewelry, flowers, box, fabric, ribbon, small flowers for box, small momentos that will go in the box (this will be the choice of the student)
  • glue
  • scissors

Traditional Mexican Pottery
This is a traditional Mexican piece of pottery that would be made to be included in a study on the Mexican culture. This piece was fired and glazed in a very free manner and produces a beautiful piece of art. Perhaps not practical but certainly pleasant to look at.
Preparation:

  • A study of the Mexican culture to begin this unit.
  • Make the box to honor the dead.
  • Find objects to go into the box for the Day of the Dead demonstration.
  • Find the dress, flowers, jewelry for the Quinceañera.
  • Make the clay products, fire them, and glaze them for the clay display.

Procedure:

This is a presentation that will follow a brief study of the Mexican culture,its people, and history,and a two-week unit on clay.

Evaluation:
The evaluation will be done totally by the teacher with a grade given for preparation, effort, and creativity

Examples of student work:

Denise and The Day of the Dead Denise, a seventh grade art student in Mrs. Monson's class at the BDRSH school, Danube Campus, Danube, Minnesota. She is of Mexican heritage and is shown demonstrating a tradition of her people which is called El Dia de Los Muertos, or "The Day of the Dead". The lesson included will describe this cultural event.

[ Explore the Day of the Dead (in English and Spanish) ]

Sandra and dress Sandra , an eighth grade art student in Mrs. Monson's class at the BDRSH school, Danube Campus, Danube, Minnesota. She is of Mexican heritage and is shown demonstrating a tradition of her people which is called Quincea–era. The lesson included will describe this cultural event.

[ Explore the Quinceañera (in English and Spanish) ]

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