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Easter Petal Pathways

Celebrate Semana Santa the week before Easter! Recreate glorious Guatemalan street carpets—alfombras—with an explosion of color and textures.

  • Grade 5
    Grade 6
    Grades 7 and 8
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. In Guatemala, Semana Santa, the week before Easter, is filled with parades, ceremonies, and many traditional rituals. One of the most beautiful is the creation of alfombras. These are street carpets made with flower petals, pine needles, and dyed sawdust. They cover a path for many blocks.
    2. Parades and ceremonies take place on top of a crafted carpet of traditional emblems and national symbols including the country’s crest. Sometimes Mayan designs are created, such as the quetzal. Share photographs of alfombras in books or on the Internet with students for inspiration.
    3. Place recycled newspaper over the art area. Students paint construction paper with Crayola® Washable Tempera making solid areas of vibrant Guatemalan flower-petal colors. Air-dry flat.
    4. On more paper, outline designs for the alfombras with Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils. Remember to include a border and center designs as well as unifying graphics. Choose symbols that remind you of spring and that can be easily pieced together in a paper mosaic.
    5. With Crayola Twistables, lay down a base color, such as pine needles. Color in the designs.
    6. Tear up or cut with Crayola Scissors the painted paper into petal shapes. Use these for the mosaic parts of the path. With Crayola School Glue, stick the pieces inside the outlines, making designs with the different colors.
    7. With Crayola Glitter Glue, highlight the designs and outlines. Air-dry flat.
    8. Spread glitter glue with a brush across the whole paper so it looks like colored sawdust. Air-dry flat.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grade level complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing one's own clearly.

    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: Identify and describe ways family, groups, and community influence the individual's daily life and personal choices.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resource: The Promise of Easter by Peg Augustine

    Students research Semana Santa, organizing their research into an electronic presentation and uploading it to a class computer for future viewing by classmates.

    Another Guatemalan tradition during Holy Week involved filling empty, painted eggshells with confetti to throw in celebration. Provide students with plastic eggshells that separate into two pieces. Using Crayola products, students create decorated eggs illustrating symbols from Guatemalan Easter. Students compose a one-paragraph summary of what new learning they used to complete the egg. Display these in the classroom.

    Many of the Guatemalan festivals blend Mayan and Spanish traditions. Have students work in small groups to investigate the Mayan Indians and/or the presence of a Spanish influence in Central America. Hold a whole-class discussion of how these cultures merged to create present-day practices in Guatemala.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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