Mexican Folk Art Mirrors

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In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15-October 15), 2nd graders learned about Mexican Folk Art from a powerpoint I created and then made fun, colorful mirrors. 

Materials:

  • 12″x18″ colored construction paper
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Q-tips
  • Black india ink or watered down black paint
  • Acrylic or tempera paint
  • Small paint brushes
  • Water bowls
  • Paint palettes or paint cup containers
  • Glue
  • Tinfoil 5″x5″
  • Scissors
  • Glitter
  • Newspaper (to collect the glitter)
  • Circle templates in four various sizes (Diameters: 11″, 8.5″, 6″, 3.5″)

Directions:

  1. Pick a colored piece of construction paper.  Trace the 11″ circle in the middle of your paper with a pencil.  Place the 9″ circle template in the middle of the 11″ circle you just drew.  Trace the 9″ circle.  Repeat this with the 7″ circle template.  The outcome looks like a target.
  2.  Trace the 5″ circle template onto a piece of tinfoil.  Cut out the circle and glue it in the middle of your drawn target.
  3. Using a q-tip, trace each circle drawn on your sheet of paper with the black ink.  Then, add various lines and shapes to create a pattern inside of each circle.
  4. Using acrylic paint, carefully paint inside of the shapes created by the black ink lines.  Use lots of color and try not to go out of the lines.
  5. If you have time, go back over your black lines with the ink to neaten up any mistakes.
  6. Use the black ink and q-tip to add more details and patterns on top of the painted areas.
  7. Let dry.
  8. If there is extra time, use a dull pencil to draw a design into the tinfoil.
  9. Put 10-20 dots of glue around your design (not on the tin foil).  Try to spread out the dots and not have them all gathered in one spot.  Sprinkle with glitter and shake it off.  Let dry.

Some tips for when I taught this to a class of 25-30:

  • I had one color of paint at each table (we had 6 tables all together).  When a student was done painting with one color, they switched to another table.  This helped keep the paints from getting mixed together (which has happened a lot in the past).
  • To apply the glitter, I stood at my demonstration table in the middle of the classroom.  When they were done making 10-20 dots of glue, they stood in line at my table and I let them sprinkle the glitter on their projects with a piece of newspaper underneath.
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