I love printmaking. My students love skulls. Why not put the two together with some Dia de los Muertos prints?
Since I am trying out choice-based art this year, when I introduced this project last October, I had the whole class gather around a display of prints I ordered from Crystal Productions and gave a little summary of Day of the Dead. The students now know that it's more like Memorial Day than "Mexican Halloween." We talked about how the skeletons are not realistic and compared to an illustration of the skeletal system that most of the students were studying in 5th grade science.
Next, I explained the basics of printmaking and said that they could try out printmaking with a Dia de los Muertos theme, try printmaking with another theme (blog post to follow), or continue on another project. Most decided that printmaking looked like fun and set out to plan their compositions.
In the next class, I demonstrated inking the foam plates and pulling a print. I had prepared black construction paper so we could use the silver and gold metallic printing ink I ordered as well as neon colored paper and black ink. It turns out that metallic and neon anything is a big inspiration to intermediate students. :)
Some of the students experimented with printing metallic ink on neon paper. I didn't save any photos of those because they either didn't turn out well or just didn't photograph well. I figured it was important to let the students try and find the answer for themselves!
Here is my quick hallway display for the project. I think I'm going to repaint my bulletin board background before too long. It needs touched up and I'm tiring of the orange.
And last, here is my example. I enjoyed this project!