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Miraculous Milagros

Design a good-luck charm as you craft silver-like jewelry. Remember—or hope for—something special in your life with these tiny cultural symbols.

  • Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Organize students in a meeting area of the classroom. Ask them to share what they know about symbolic metal charms known as milagros. If they are not familiar with these, ask them to think about what they could be. Document student contributions to the discussion on a white board using Crayola Dry-Erase Markers.
    2. When the discussion seems to be coming to a close, inform students that milagros are small, symbolic metal charms. The literal translation for milagro is miracle. Milagros are used in several cultures to ask or to give thanks for favors. The charms are usually shaped like an item or event. For instance, if one has a favorite pet, his milagro might be shaped like a dog or cat. Invite students, working in teams of two or small groups, to research cultures that use these miracle charms, as well as how they are used. Provide text resources and teacher-approved Internet web sites for students to investigate.
    3. Provide student groups the opportunity to share their research with classmates during a discussion of cultures that made use of these charms. Invite students to each create original milagros.
    4. To create one's very own milagros, use Crayola Model Magic® to make a small shape that has a special, personal meaning. Cover the Model Magic with aluminum foil. Glue the ends of the foil in place if necessary. Air-dry the glue.
    5. Students use Crayola Gel Markers to decorate their milagros. If so desired, students may glue on a pin back or clip so the milagro can attach the milagros to their clothing.
    6. Ask students to write a paragraph describing the meaning of their original milagros, who it might be given to and why. Display the charms with student writing in a prominent place in the classroom.
  • Standards

    LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

    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 and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    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.

    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: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.

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

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Milagros: A Book of Miracles by Helen Thompson; Milagros: Votive Offerings from the Americas by Martha Egan

    Encourage student groups to investigate photos of Milagros and brainstorm the motivation behind the artwork.

    Students investigate various Milagros symbols and the ideas with which they are associated. Student groups select an idea to base Milagros symbols on and create original charms to represent the selected idea. Students create a display for their charms, including a summary of the focus and how they made their pieces.

    Student groups investigate Latino tin crafts and create them using Milagros ideas. Groups write a summary of their motivation and techniques used to create artwork.


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