I am blogging while watching this crazy election because I want to watch and I want to distract myself at the same time…. and since I promised a blog to my patrons for October, but then lost power for a week due to Hurricane Zeta, it’s about time I get my butt into gear and post this!
I did a LOT with Día de Muertos this year and decided to really focus on the Indigenous roots of the holiday. In addition, I really wanted to give my kiddos a safe place to talk about death and also to grieve (if they chose to) about recent loss. It was powerful. I am SO glad I did…I made a ton of new resources this year and built my first-ever bulletin board altar. Hybrid students brought their photos in, and virtual students submitted photos through SeeSaw for the altar. Here is a photo before the photos were added:
At the end of the unit, I decided to focus on Alebrijes. This year, I introduced my own Alebrije to students and they were OBSESSED! Teachers at my previous school gifted this to me when I left. Isn’t it amazing!? I am coaching all of the co-curricular teachers at my school this year and the lower school art teacher did a unit on Alebrijes for LatinX Heritage month so I stole the idea of a mini-unit from her! ¡Gracias, Mary!
I had introduced alebrijes to my students the same week I observed Mary teaching her 2nd graders about them. Since kids were super engaged and enthusiastic, it just seemed perfect to move into a mini-unit all about these beautiful, colorful, fantastical creatures! I shared these resources with my PLC “La Familia Loca” last week as a follow-up to the Día de Muertos resources and they’ve already let me know how much their students have been enjoying them! I hope yours to do too!
First I guided my students through this slide deck:
Next, we watched this YouTube video:
Then using this handout, I had kiddos choose at least 3 animals (each from a different element) to form their official “alebrije”. I encouraged them to choose animals that they “identified with” or “loved” most. Kids really enjoyed this. Even my students who don’t identify as artists had fun with the idea of creating their very own “alebrjie”.
My virtual students submitted work on SeeSaw. Here are some in-person and virtual examples for your viewing pleasure (and for me to look back on and enjoy later!)
and here is my gift to you on election day! The slides and hand out! Just let me know how it turns out! Or tag me in photos on Instagram! @lamaestraloca I can’t wait to see what your students create! I am making an Alebrije wall at school on Friday! It should really brighten people’s days!
Sending you my love and positive energy… What a crazy, crazy year it has been!
Stay happy, stay healthy, stay sane,
and until next time,
La Maestra Loca