Jul 9, 2017

Day of the Dead Masks

 My grade 5 students created these masks a couple of years ago. I plan to do them again this year as they turned out really well and the kids really enjoyed making them. This project was inspired by this post from 'Scrumdilly-Do', where you can also find instructions.

During the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead (Día de los Muertos), decorative or edible skulls or 'calaveras' are made from either sugar or clay. Small sugar skulls represent the children who have passed away, while the larger sugar skulls represent the adults. These celebrations take place over the 1st and 2nd of November and it is believed that the departed return home to enjoy the offering on the alter.

I had my students fold their paper plate in half to draw the shape of the skull so that once cut ot the shape would be symmetrical. We also discussed symmetry of design. After discussing the origins and traditions surrounding sugar skulls or calaveras, I provided many images of traditional Mexican designs on skulls to inspire student's own designs. We drew in pencil and coloured with textas (felt tip markers).

I also gave the option of using metallic pens and I think this year I will also make jewels and sequins available to them. Students may also choose to decorate the popstick handle which is taped to the back of each mask.


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