Sunday, January 13, 2013


We officially began our study of Mexico last week! Students seem very excited to learn about Mexico, as most don't have much background knowledge about it so it's a brand-new topic for them. During this month-long study, students will continue to strengthen their understanding of geography. They will also learn about Mexican culture, weather, history, and food. This will be the last official social studies unit of first grade. Throughout the rest of the school year we will focus on our science themes--solids and liquids, weather, and hatching chicks! is an excellent resource for short videos about many topics. We watched the video about Mexico twice. The first time, students watched for entertainment and to learn new information. The second time, students took notes about the four main topics of the video. They used clipboards and a note-taking page I had prepared. We discussed how some people remember information better when they write and/or draw about it.
We started a new Mexican art project on Friday, and I am VERY excited about it! I have two Amate bark paintings from Mexico, so I was eager to have students try their hand at creating this type of folk art. Here's an example of an Amate bark painting:

One of my favorite art websites ( had directions for doing Amate bark paintings with 4th graders, but I figured our 1st graders could do this, no problem! Here are some examples from the website--done by 4th graders in California:

The first graders were not at all intimidated when I told them 4th graders did this project--in fact, I think it actually motivated many of them to show that they can do it too! :-) And they CAN! These are going to be AMAZING! They already are, actually. I just can't wait to take photos of the finished product. We got a lot done on Friday, but the finishing touches will be done on Monday and then displayed in the hall. I'll be sure to post photos of the finished products. 

Students took such care with their drawings--we drew suns, birds, and flowers. 
I'm seriously impressed with the artists in our class!
Everyone was so happy and calm. I LOVE art!
This group was really excited to talk to each other about their artistic process. 
Neon tempera paint is my new favorite thing. Wow! I love how those colors POP! Thanks, Mrs. Derry for the gift! 
Just LOOK at those! Wow!
Pretty impressive, isn't it?!
A happy painter!
These are going to brighten up our halls, without a doubt!

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