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Must have Days of the Dead Video - Crizmac


From: Judith Decker (jdecker4art_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun May 16 2004 - 11:39:33 PDT

Larry and all Middle School teachers,

"Flickering Lights: Days of the Dead" Video

Mexico (ancient civilizations) is part of the 7th
grade social studies curriculum around here.... Try to
sneak in a Days of the Dead Lesson. Larry, your
students would LOVE making paper mache skeletons
-"calacas" (Use my heroes lesson as a guide - but
paper mache instead of plaster gauze - then paint. I
bet you would like paper mache skulls, too (maybe
paint them "in the style of" an honored
Mexican/Spanish arist? - just a thought - video has
some nice ones shown). My ceramic lesson idea below.

To all....

I know many of you are planning for next year.... I
just previewed "Flickering Lights: Days of the Dead"
-from Crizmac (also available through Art Video
World). What is really nice is you can get the print
set for FREE from Art Video world if you order three
videos. This video was mainly still shots - but was at
a fast enough pace to entertain (20 minutes). I liked
it much better than the PBS video that I bought years
ago (60 minutes long).

Crizmac has a thorough explanation of the video
Days of the Dead Resources (four pages)

There are parts at the beginning that you could fast
forward - or turn the sound down if you choose and
talk. What I liked is this video gave you some
nice and concise background information on the origins
of Days of the Dead - the melding of traditions from
both Native culture and Hispanic culture. Students
will really like the folk art section. There is a
brief demonstration of Josefina Aquilar working on
ceramic figures.

If I were doing Days of the Dead with my middle
schoolers - I know that I would also get Fantastic
Figures Oaxacan Ceramic Folks Art (featuring Josefina
- Crizmac video) - and we would make Days of the Dead
Story Tellers (Josefina's techniques - and the way
Woody Duncan made figures with his students - see his
site - combined with the technique for Pre-Columbian
ceramics on my site - starting with a hollow
cylinder). We would make figures to honor a favorite
artist (Hispanic/Spanish or any choice - as
skeleton (calaca) or not. And students could make them
into a candle holder if they choose. We would then add
our Story Tellers to a Class Ofrenda
(alter) honoring all of our artists that we chose (I
know me - and I know I would have provided a list of
artists to select from - but you can do it your way).
I know I would probably start my unit around the first
of October - and end it during Days of the Dead with a
class celebration of some of the foods (Crizmac has
molds and food colorings too)...and hopefully that
would fall sometime during on taco days for Home Ec.
During this time, my students would also learn about
pre-Columbian ceramics -as that is one passion of mine
(and I have lots of resources for that). I have
different lessons I might do with 6th grade and 8th
grade to get more milage out of my Ofrenda and
resources (only one grade level would see the video -
maybe show it during academic assist for others who
wish to see it?). All could study art of Mexico on the
Internet via my web page.

Plan now by planting plenty of Marigolds - and bring
the plants inside to save them in the fall. I have
never tried that so have no idea if they will
keep. Maybe around here (mid west) we will have to
save mums in the yellow and orange colors? Fabric
flowers can be a nice substitute....or even have
kids make tissue paper flowers. The video gives some
other flower suggestions.

Order the video yourself to preview - It is listed as
fourth grade and up - but I think some snippets could
be shown to lower grades. The Teacher's Guide is a
great plus! Gives you a nice overview- questions to
ask (video viewing guide all ready to go!)- vocab -
activities and lists of resouces.

Judy Decker

Judy Decker
Incredible Art Department
Incredible Art Resources

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