Papel Picado – Colorful Cut Paper

By Imagene Mallory, Victory Elementary

Hola amigos!  Hello friends!  This is one of the most absolute favorite projects that my 1st graders enjoy!  I always try to incorporated culture in my lessons. I tell them art is cultural because there are people all over the world that create art in many different ways.  Being that I’m from the island of St. Croix in the Virgin Islands, and being from a different culture, always makes for something different, fun and educational.   We ventured to Mexico where celebrations are lively and colorful. I showed a video of a gentleman that explained that when they have festivals or any special occasion, they line the streets or even inside with colorful cut paper.  This is called Papel Picado.  The students repeated the Spanish term for cut paper and then later viewed another video of a little girl giving a cute demonstration of how to cut paper to make their own. 

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We practiced with fan folding a piece of scrap paper and using a sissors, students cut small basic shapes out on the creases on all the sides.  When students were comfortable with cutting and folding, each student was given a colorful 9×12 piece of tissue paper to fold and cut.

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The biggest excitement came when the students opened up their cut paper! Strings were then stapled on one of the ends and students proudly displayed their Papel Picado.  I was not able to display any of their work in the building because they wanted to take them home.  It was fun and the students really enjoyed this project.  So until next time, adios!!

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