Wednesday, November 21, 2012

3rd Grade Oaxacan Inspired Drawings

This lesson was one of my student teacher's greatest hits. The students learned about Oaxacan wood carvings then made drawings inspired by the artwork. The students had to think about composition, colors, and how to fill their animals in with patterns. You can see some amazing wood carvings HERE and read more about Oaxacan artwork HERE.
This project also made me think of a piece of advice I wish I had thought to mention earlier: Don't give too many examples! When asking the students to think about an animal to use, she threw out several random animals in each class. The problem is that a big chunk of students in each class latched on to one of her examples. We had classes with LOTS of jellyfish and snakes. That's something I'm filing away for if I ever have another student teacher!


  1. Hi Katie
    Wow! Those construction paper crayons really pop on black paper. Thanks for posting.

  2. Great colors! I really like the second snake; the patterns on it work really well, and the page is filled nicely :).
    ~Jessica (

  3. These look marvelous - such great detail and pattern! I've found that the more examples the better - overwhelm them!
    When I did my unit on Aboriginal Xray style, the students had their choice of 40 different animals to choose from (we chose AZ animals rather than Australian animals) for their paintings. I had a binder of pix of each in different poses downloaded from Google images. Since there were only 28 students in each class that was more than enough to provide inspiration! Each class had at least one snake but it eliminated 10 snakes in a class...

    1. I agree with the "the more, the better" approach when there's a certain set of animals for the students to choose from- like from a certain habitat, etc. But when it could be any animal in the world, the students are capable of doing that on their own! :)