|Grade span:||2 to 8|
|Duration:||Two to three 45-minute sessions|
Description:This lesson is one example of how you can implement the practice of Making Connections to History and Culture. In this activity, students explore the history and culture of the Huichol Indians of Mexico through the native art of making yarn paintings to tell stories. Then students will create their own yarn paintings to tell a story from their childhood.
- Understand how symbols are used in art and culture
- Understand and appreciate the art of different cultures
- Learn about and apply the technique of Huichol yarn painting to tell a childhood story
- Copy of The Journey of Tunuri and the Blue Deer: A Huichol Indian Story by James Endredy and María Hernández de la Cruz
- Drawing materials:- paper, pencils, markers, crayons
- Examples of Huichol yarn paintings (see Resources for suggested Web sites)
- Masonite or stiff cardboard
- Markers and pencils
- Crock- Pots (1 per group, if possible) or microwave oven and microwave-safe bowls
- Clear beeswax or candle wax (available at many craft stores)
- Yarn in assorted textures and colors
- Read The Journey of Tunuri and the Blue Deer: A Huichol Indian Story by James Endredy and María Hernández de la Cruz.
- Review some of the basic elements of art, including form, color, and symbolism.
- Research Huichol yarn paintings. See Resources for suggested Web sites.
- Cut individual pieces of Mmasonite or cardboard, one 8"" x 10"" piece for each student
- (8 5f" x 105f").
- Melt the wax in Crock- Pots or in microwave-safe bowls.
- Clearreate space for students to work. Line desks, tables, and/or the floor with newspaper.
What to Do:Session 1
- Read aloud the story The Journey of Tunuri and the Blue Deer: A Huichol Indian Story, making sure to share the illustrations with the class.
- Discuss the yarn paintings that illustrate the story, including:
- Elements of art such as form, color, and symbolism
- Sacred meanings of symbols used in the paintings
- paintings and their sacred significance
- Importance of maintaining respect for different cultures
- Discuss the origins of myths and folk tales. Ask students to think about their memories of childhood, and compare and contrast their stories with those of other cultures.
- Ask students to create a picture or design that tells a story from their childhood. This design should incorporate elements of Huichol design, particularly the use of symbols.
- Distribute individual pieces of Mmasonite or cardboard. Have students transfer their designs from the previous session to the Mmasonite using pencils or markers.
- Demonstrate the technique for applying yarn to the design:
- Use a paintbrush to apply a small amount of melted wax to the board, beginning in the center.
- Working quickly, use colored yarn to fill in each figure, pressing yarn into the warm wax to hold it in place.
- Continue working through the rest of the design, applying wax in small amounts so that it does not harden too quickly.
- Continue work into a third session, Session 3, if necessary.
- As an extension, create a gallery-like display of student yarn paintings. Have students create a museum-style information cards to accompany their paintings, including a brief description explaining the symbols.
Evaluate (Outcomes to look for):
- Student participation and engagement
- Understanding and use of the elements of art, such as form, color, and symbolism
- An appreciation and respect for the art and symbols of other cultures
- Yarn paintings that reflect a story, use symbolism, and reflect Huichol designs
Click this link to see additional learning goals, grade-level benchmarks, and standards covered in this lesson.