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Dia de los Muertos Sugar Skulls

Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, is a holiday celebrated on November 1 in Mexico.  The holiday honours the dead with lively festivals and celebrations.  Though I didn't have any Mexican or Latin students in my class last year, I felt it was important to share other cultures with my class.  Widen their horizons a bit.

After doing a small presentation on the holiday, we discussed one element in particular: Sugar Skulls.  Sugar Skulls are made of sugar as the name suggests.  They are highly decorated candy skulls that children buy and give to friends.  

I found several examples online of sugar skulls.

I printed one of each page and displayed them along the whiteboard.  Students came and took a close look at each.  When they returned to their seats, there was a blank piece of paper at each desk.

We folded the paper into 12 spaces.  I directed my students through drawing and labeling 15 line types (3 had to go on the back of the paper).  These included the basics (horizontal, vertical, diagonal) and some fancier line types (starburst, spiral, curled).

Once we had done all 15 types they had another close look at the sugar skull examples.  I asked them to tell me where they saw examples of each line type in the skulls.  We had quite a lengthy discussion and I was really impressed with how many they found!

Everyone got a blank skull template to create their own Sugar Skull.  They had to show me as many line types as they possibly could.  They fine lined their pencil lines and then coloured in with markers so they were really bold.

Here are three of my favourites:

This photo of my hallway bulletin board didn't turn out so great.  I didn't realize until it was too late....

This is a great project for teaching line type anywhere from grades 3-6.

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