As much as I love the traditions and art of Dia de los Muertos, I’ve never really been around or involved in any legitimate celebrations. I read about it. Watch movies about it. Make art with my students about it. But I’ve never had an opportunity to see it and be a part of it in real life. All that changed on Sunday.
I found out about a Dia de los Muertos festival happening in Charlotte. It was held at the Levine Museum of the New South and it was great! There were T O N S of people there so we didn’t get to do everything. But we looked, and read, and observed, and listened to everything we could.
Before we even walked in the door, we were greeted by La Catrina! Photo op!
They had an altar competition and there were many entries. They were all big and bright and heartfelt.
I loved all the symbolism found in the altars. They even inspired my daughter to make one to her cat and her great grandmother that both recently passed away.
We made sugar skulls and played games and colored calaveras. We bought some pan de Muertos too but that was eaten pretty quickly!
One of my favorite parts was when the music started and we were able to watch the singers and dancers from the balconies of the second floor.
After a long day at the festival, I went back to my first love (French everything) and ate crepes and macarons in Romare Bearden Park. It was a perfect day and I enjoyed spending it with family, learning about a different culture together. ❤️
My fifth graders have been working on these cow paintings for a few weeks now. We discussed foreshortening and looked at lots of examples before we started our sketches.
When they finished their sketches, I let them choose a color for their background but gave them black and white or analogous colors to add to the main color to give the pictures some depth.
I gave them a fairly limited palette with only brown, black, white, and the primary colors to paint their cows and they did a nice job mixing to get the other colors they wanted.
Some of these are just hilarious because of the expressions on the faces but I love all of them. The drawing goal was to show depth with foreshortening and the painting goal was to show texture with painting technique and more depth with highlights and shadows.
I’ll be adding more photos of finished cows soon!
All of my classes are currently making art that deals with North Carolina agriculture. Lots of people in our state keep bees and this lesson is a great way to tie art, science, social studies, and real life all into one beautiful project.
We start with a discussion on NC Ag and bees. Then we watch this great video for kids about bees and why they are so very important: bee video. Then we finish with a demonstration of printmaking with bubble wrap and the linocut of a bee.
On the second day of the project, we add a little color to the bees and then cut them out and glue them onto the honeycomb.
Then we add some bright, colorful flowers around the edge to entice our bees to stay and hang out for awhile. 🙂
A quick little artist statement about how they created the piece or why bees are so important is a great way to add a writing aspect to this project!
My fifth graders started on their NC art project this week. We are creating in honor of the annual Statesville Hot Air Balloon Festival. We looked at tons of pictures of hot air balloons, paintings of hot air balloons, and even a video of a mass launch at the Statesville festival.
I wanted to give them more choice in their artwork and so I left up lots of the pictures we looked at and they are using those and their own ideas to create their own individual pictures.
Here’s a few from the first day of sketching…
Day one of choosing their own materials. They chose from crayons, markers, color pencils, color sticks, oil pastels, and paint.
Some of my classes are participating in the NC Farm to School calendar contest. Second graders are learning about printmaking with this project and we are making honeycombs and bees. We started off with making the honeycomb with yellow paint, bubble wrap, and brown paper. Then we printed a big bee that I had made out of cardboard. We printed with black paint and next week we use oil pastels to go back and add some color. I think the oil pastels really make the bee pop and bring it to life with the extra colors.
We also did aValentine version!
Fourth graders started these awesome lighthouse pictures today. We looked at some artists from North Carolina that paint seascapes and lighthouses and then looked at some of the famous lighthouses along the Outer Banks.
We started by drawing a few levels of waves and then they had to choose a lighthouse to draw. Then we added zentangle designs to the waves. Next week we will paint the sky and water. Debating on adding a ship. Last year we didn’t do the lighthouse but did 2 ships. I’ll probably let the kids decide.
I thought these two were already looking pretty awesome!