MEC Yearlong Multicultural Unit Within the Multicultural unit one of the enduring ideas students learn is that art is “too big” to stay in one place. It is made by people around the world and changes as it is acquired and interpreted by people in different cultures. Another enduring idea within the unit is that wherever you find people you will find art. The art of Mexico exemplifies the universal sharing of art and that ethnic groups around the world have their own unique traditions in art.
Multicultural Unit: Previous lessons in the Art of Mexico We begin our unit on Mexican art by studying pre-Columbian art: Zapotec pyramids, Olmec heads, and Aztec codices. We then compare the indigenous art with Mexican art following the invasion of the Conquistadors. Christian images and traditions such as the “Tree of Life,” milagros, and “El Dia de los Muertos” are interpreted by students in large murals, metal, and other art making processes. By studying how 20th century artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo overcame illness and adversity to produce great artworks that personify Mexican pride, students learn about the transformative power of art for individuals as well as cultures.
Previous Lessons Mayan Pyramid: 3rd grade Elements of Art : texture/symmetry in architecture Day of the Dead: 4th grade Monoprint: Principle of Movement and milagro: textue
Ethnobotanical Plants are useful to people as food, medicine, clothing, shelter, and other purposes Lessons included in this unit: Maize codex- Fourth grade students work in a group to construct a pocketed codex. Figures are inspired by Mesoamerican codices and are inserted into the pocket. Students draw images of maize and write facts and responses. Agave: Third grade students learn about the products Agave provides for the people of Oaxaca, By cutting and folding paper they create a paper sculpture Agave, an introduction to radial symmetry. They write about products and facts in written in print or cursive in Spanish or English. Chocolate: Fourth grade students learn that ancient Mesoamerican people used cacao beans as money. Applying designs and images inspired by ancient images on pottery and codices, they design their own chocolate money. As an extension activity, a collage wallet can be made from recycled chocolate wrappers.
Maize Growing in a “Three Sisters” field Corn for sale on a Oaxacan street
Cacao-Chocolate Picture from wellnessuncovered.com