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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Aztec Inspired Portraits

Third Grade students began the year by looking at the Aztecs.  The Aztecs were a group of American Indians.  They came to Mexico where they developed into a powerful tribe (from 1428-1521).  Aztec society was based on farming- and religion was very important to them as well.  As a result, they worshipped gods that represented natural forces – which would be very important in farming (Gods for sun, rain, earth…)
Students examined the artworks the Aztecs left behind – stone sculptures that represented sun, rain, earth….The class discussed how the Aztecs used symbols to describe the different gods.  For example, the rain god had mountains on his head because they believed all water flowed down from the mountains to feed the soil. 
After viewing and discussing various artworks students set out to create their own Aztec inspired portraits.  Students thought about some of the things that are important to them (school, video games, shopping…)  and developed their own symbols that could represent their idea.  The symbols were then used to create a type of headdress for the person in their portrait. 
Once the drawing was complete each student transferred their work to a piece of foam.  The foam was then covered with ink to create a print!

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