Mexican Art: Paper Retablos

Students will learn about retablos, which are small and portable homemade alters, in order to analyze their significance in Hispanic cultures. Using inspiration from original Peruvian and Mexican retablos, they will design paper retablos that signify what is important and meaningful in their own lives. Students will carefully decorate the paper retablos, creating a symmetrical design on the doors, inside and outside. This is a great way to immerse students in art within Hispanic culture and students will be able to make connections about the importance of art in Hispanic culture.

Mask Traditions of Mexico

This lesson plan will focus on teaching student about the study of masked dance traditions of Guerrero and students will be able to learn vocabulary while translating a story into a drama.

Making Paper Flowers

This activity will guide students in learning how to make traditional Mexican Paper flowers. This is a great way to immerse students in Mexican art and culture.

Making Costumes

In this activity, students will learn how to create traditional Mexican costumes out of butcher paper. Students can create tigers, mermaids and more. For more examples, reference books about Mexican mask and dance traditions.

Making Bunuelos

Learn to make Bunuelos, a type of desert that can be found throughout Latin America and are served year round but are typically served as a side dish during holidays with syrup.

Create a Creature

Students in teams invent an animal that is specifically adapted to the rain forest environment, focusing on the Amazon Rain forest. They create a tear-art picture of the creature and present it in class. Students will first list adaptions animals have, then discuss different animals in the rain forest, then create their creatures and later describe adaptations of their specific creature to other students in class. This is a fun way to get students thinking about their surrounding environment including brainstorming adaptions that creatures who live in the rain forest can have.

Fantastic Sculptures

Learn how to make fantastic sculptures from the country of Haiti. Fantastic sculptures are originally made from used oil drums but in this activity students will use disposable aluminum baking pans sold in super markets to practice this sculpture technique. This is a good way to immerse students in the culture and art of Haiti.

Taste Some Salvadoran Snacks

Students will learn about and make, Salvadoran dishes such as Guacamole, Quesadillas, Licuados de fruta, Charamuscas and more! A fun way to get students familiar with the Salvadoran culture.

Learn about a Salvadorian Craft

In this lesson plan, students will learn how to create a Salvadorian craft known as "Seed of God" or "Semilla de Dios", which is a folk art style that utilizes bright colors and is inspired by adobe homes. Students will get the opportunity to practice this folk art style after learning about it, either creating a cross similar to the one they are shown or by coloring in sheets with images similar to those panted onto crosses.


This guide gives a thorough background of the textile art called Mola. Clear instructions are included if students wish to make a Mola and become more apart of the Panamanian tradition.
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