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Fiesta Mats

Paper weaving and crayon designs add color to your Mexican culture classroom celebration.

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
    Grade 3
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Students find out how holidays are celebrated in Mexico. When might woven mats be a part of their festivities? What materials are traditionally used to construct mats? What colors are typical? What symbols are common?
    2. Fold a large piece of construction paper in half by bringing the shorter sides together. Measure a line 1 inch (3cm) from the open end with a ruler. Use Crayola® Scissors to cut 4 parallel lines from the fold up to the line. Space the cut lines an equal distance apart from each other and the side of the paper. Unfold the fiesta mat base.
    3. Cut a second large piece of construction paper into strips, cutting straight across the paper from long side to long side.
    4. Weave strips over and under the slits into the base. Alternate each strip so that where one goes over, the next strip goes under. Weave as many strips as you can. There will be strips left over.
    5. Attach loose ends of strips to the mat base with Crayola School Glue.
    6. Use Crayola Construction Paper Crayons to draw fiesta symbols in the squares created by weaving.
  • Standards

    LA: Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

    LA: Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting or plot.

    LA: Know and apply grade-level phonics and word analysis skills in decoding word s.

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

    LA: Participate in shared research and writing projects.

    LA: With guidance and support from adults and peers, focus on a topic and strengthen writing as needed by revising and editing.

    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 their 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.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

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

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Going Home by Eve Bunting; The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie dePaola; The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola; Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto

    Create a trait chart to compare several U.S. or other national holidays with traditional Mexican celebrations. Head each column with a different holiday, then list characteristics such as time of year, reason for the celebration, traditional foods, customs, etc.

    Schedule a Mexican New Year celebration for the class. Organize a fiesta with authentic food, music, and decorations, Use student-made fiesta mats for place settings while eating at the feast.


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