Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Aztec Suns with Model Magic

I had plans to do some simple, textured, clay medallions with my first graders this year. But when it came time to do them, I couldn't get excited. I think they were screaming "kindergarten" a little too loudly. So I did what any desperate modern-day art teacher in a pinch would do. I pinned.

Among other bits of inspiration (here, here, and here) I found a picture of clay suns that was a Flickr tease--just a picture. But a picture's worth 1,000 words (in a blog post), right? I decided that my first graders and I would make some Aztec Suns with Model Magic! Hooray!

The Aztecs lived from the 14th through the 16th centuries in Mexico. They believed that life had undergone several creations, and that they were living in the fifth and final creation, each of which was represented by a sun.

The Aztec Sun Stone - http://www.crystalinks.com/aztecalendar.html

On the first day, I showed the kids some images of the Aztec Sun Stone, discovered in the 1700s, weighing in at 48,000 pounds and stretching 12 feet in diameter! Holy huge carving, Batman!

The kids got down and not-so-dirty with white Model Magic, which they flattened into pancakes and subsequently decorated with both additive and subtractive techniques.

The suns dried out (use wax paper underneath) until our next class, when we got out the paints and went to town! Unsurprisingly, the neon and metallic temperas were everyone's favorite.

As we finished this project, the weather went from winter chill to borderline summer temps. I have no problem taking credit for inspiring the sun to come out to play! :-)

Psssst! You can see more suns over yonder.

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