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Siesta Pillow

Explore daily life in Mexico, particularly the practice of the mid-day siesta. Use Crayola® Fabric Crayons to design a siesta pillow with traditional Mexican images.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Provide students with resources on the country of Mexico, its culture and people. Students work independently or in collaborative groups to research the origins of siestas in hot climates, as well as traditional and contemporary Mexican images. Choose authentic symbols that could represent a dream theme for the Siesta Pillow.
    2. After cutting an 8-inch (20 by 20 cm) square of white paper with Crayola Scissors, students use Crayola Fabric Crayons to draw dream symbols on the square. Draw in reverse so it will transfer right side up to siesta pillow fabric. Press hard for intense crayon colors.
    3. Cut white synthetic fabric (not 100% cotton) into a 9- by 18-inch (23 by 46 cm)piece.
    4. On a flat surface, students place several blank sheets of white paper over layers of newspaper for ironing. Place fabric on the paper, face up. Lay design face down near one end of fabric. Top with white paper.
    5. An adult sets an iron on cotton, with no steam, and preheats it. The adult places the iron in one spot, presses down, then lifts and moves the iron to another spot until the entire design is transferred to the Siesta Pillow. Carefully remove the paper.
    6. Fold fabric in half with the image inside. Glue pillow sides together with Crayola School Glue. Dry completely, then stuff. Glue open side closed. Dry.
    7. Students write a dream story that includes your pillow images. Write with Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils, in Spanish or another language of Mexico if possible.
  • Standards

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

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

    LA: Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to task and situation.

    MATH: Know relative sizes of measurement units within one system of units including km, m, cm; kg, g; lb, oz.; l, ml; hr, min, sec. Within a single system of measurement, express measurements in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit.

    SCI: Obtain information about different climatic areas to predict typical weather conditions expected in a particular season in a given area.

    SS: Identify roles as learned behavior patterns in group situations such as student, family member, peer play group member, or club member.

    SS: Demonstrate an ability to use correctly vocabulary associated with time such as past, present, future, and long ago; read and construct simple timelines; identify examples of change; and recognize examples of cause and effect relationships.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

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

    VA: Identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Look What Came from Mexico by Miles Harvey; Mexico by Elaine Landau; Off We Go to Mexico by Laurie Krebs; P is for Piñata: A Mexico Alphabet by Tony Johnston

    Mid-day long lunches are common in European countries, as well as in Mexico. Encourage students to research mi-day work breaks in one or more European country. How are these similar to siestas in Mexico? How are they different?

    Rather than providing students with a template to cut their fabric, ask students to measure their fabric in either customary or Metric units of measure. If students are working in teams of two or small groups, each may have a different size to measure to vary the pillows.

    Students will create their siesta pillows with symbols of Mexican culture. Ask students to be prepared to research each of the symbols that will be represented on their pillows and be prepared to share with classmates the history behind this cultural symbol.

    Collaborate with the World Language teacher in the school to assist students with writing on their pillows. Students may write their first name in Spanish, the names of the symbols that they have chosen to represent, etc.

    Encourage students to work in small groups to map out a travel route from their hometowns to a well-known city in Mexico. Students create a map of the world, or just of the Americas if they live in either continent. Identify each country in both continents. Locate the Mexican city that will be the destination. Locate your hometown. How will you travel to Mexico, by car, train, plane, etc.? How long do you project it will take to arrive? How did you arrive at your time estimate? What sites do you plan to visit while in Mexico? Why are these sites of interest? Students prepare a written proposal for the trip. Will the school administrator give you permission to go?


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