First Grade students studied the Maya people of Guatemala. We learned how this group of people has retained many of their ancient customs and beliefs. The Maya also wear special clothing called huipil. The Huipil are made by weaving. Weaving, embroidery and sewing help them to express themselves and their creativity. Designs often have special meaning. For example, families all have unique patterns which are special to their village. Students discussed how by wearing this style of dress the Maya have a sense of belonging and show pride in their culture. We compared it to our own experiences of feeling a sense togetherness and pride due to what we wear,when we thought of our school uniforms and field day shirts. We also explored how many cultures around the world have their own special way of dressing.
Finally, we set out to create our own Huipiles. Students explored symmetry while cutting out their shirt shape. Each child also created a watercolor painting that experimented with different kinds of lines which we cut up to include in our shirt design. Students collaged different papers to their art and added patterns.