No-Mess Mini-Piñata

No-Mess Mini-Piñata lesson plan

Say goodbye to a student teacher. Welcome a new classmate. Decorate for Cinco de Mayo. This easy-to-make piñata is sure to be a hit at any festivity!

  • 1.

    During a unit of study focused on Mexico, or any foreign nation, ask students to discuss how they celebrate special occasions in their families. Then invite students to find out how children around the world have fun on special occasions. Using teacher-selected text and electronic resources, small groups research the topic.

  • 2.

    When research is complete, inform groups that they will be organizing a presentation for classmates. Their presentation will include a collaborative art piece. For our purposes in this lesson, groups will be creating a piñata.

  • 3.

    In many countries, piñatas are favorite party games. They’re usually made with paper maché, but here’s a quicker way. We designed a bright fish piñata to complement a study of countries that border the Pacific Ocean.

  • 4.

    Each group will need one brown paper grocery bag. Students use Crayola® Washable Markers to color fish scales and eyes.

  • 5.

    Finish fish features. Use Crayola Scissors to cut paper bag scraps to make a fish mouth, fins, and tail. Color with markers. Hold in place with Crayola School Glue. Air-dry the piñata.

  • 6.

    Fill the piñata with goodies such as colored pencils and little bags of pretzels. Tie it closed with colorful ribbon. Each student group can hang their original piñata during their presentation or position it in a highly visible area of the classroom. Remind groups to incorporate their visual, the piñata, into their presentation.

Standards

  • LA: Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • LA: Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Participate in shared research and writing projects.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.
  • SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.
  • SS: Give examples of and explain group and institutional influences such as religious beliefs, laws, and peer pressure, on people, events, and elements of culture.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
  • VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

Adaptations

  • Possible classroom resources include: Piñata by Rebecca Emberley; Hooray, a Piñata! by Elisa Kleven
  • Students work collaboratively when making their piñatas. Have students take digital photographs during each step of the process. Organize photos into an electronic format. Students compose comments for each photograph to help in describing the process of building their piñata.
  • Organize a class celebration for the class. As part of the celebration, students will decorate a piñata. Fill it with gifts and/or candy. During the celebration, play a game with the entire class. The winner of the game will get to keep the piñata!