Thursday, March 1, 2012

papel picada

My fifth graders created these beautiful papel picada using bright sheets of copy paper! (Staples/Office Depot have reams of 500 sheets of neon paper--which you need to use because you can't really cut through construction paper!)

We used some of the techniques found in the book "Making Magic Windows" by Carmen Lomas Garza, who also explains the history behind papel picada and how she became so good at it!

Part of the fun was watching the kids as they opened up their papel picada and saw the different shapes and patterns they had created.

The other part I loved was watching them feverishly trying to layer their pieces so they were "just right"---even, symmetrical, and all visible (the three "musts" upon completion).

Just like every single one of my kids, these projects are all individuals.

Speaking of which, there is some interesting fodder over on a blog that I contribute to monthly regarding process-oriented art education and product-oriented art education. Where do you fall?If you tend to ride one side of the fence or the other, how do you nurture both theories? I find myself showing and guiding, but let the students take it from there. Many times they choose not to deviate from my examples. I left a lengthy comment about how students lose that zest for wreckless abandon once they get to intermediate elementary grades. What do you think?


  1. Love this. I do Papel Picado with my students for a quick radial symmetry lesson but never thought to layer it. I'll definitely do that next time.

  2. What a perfect January project!! I think my kiddos will love this!