Votive Paintings (4th)

So once again I was looking for a project in which I could really work with my 4th graders and their writing (something the 4th graders at my school have been struggling with).. and stumbled across this beauty of a theme - Mexican Votive Paintings!
Mexican votive paintings are traditionally religious paintings in which the artist creates an image (and a writing piece that goes with it) depicting an event that occurred in their life which caused them to give thanks to a saint or religious figure for helping them through it. In the beginning these paintings were just portraits.. but over time they became more narrative in nature (the images told a story). These paintings were also originally only created by the wealthy on canvases, but overtime as tin became more affordable, even the poor began creating their own!
So for our project I asked students to think about someone in their life they were grateful for and create a narrative image and narrative story which told viewers why they were thankful for that person. First students used a graphic organizer to organize their ideas for their narratives.. then they drew their picture on a sheet of paper. Once their image was created, they laid it over a piece of black construction paper with a piece of aluminum foil taped to it (I pre-taped these to speed up the process so my students would have more time for their images and writing) and used a colored pencil to go over all their original pencil lines (to create indentions in the foil underneath). Then the drawing was removed and students used a black sharpie to go over their indentions on their foil to create outlines. Once this was completed, it was time to write their narratives. I really pushed the idea of having a beginning, a middle, an end in their stories and including as much detail as possible. Some students wrote a paragraph or so.. and some wrote 3 pages! Once their narrative was completed and checked by me, students wrote a final draft and glued it to the back of their artwork. Then it was time to color!!
Using colored sharpies, students colored their foil drawings. They LOVEEEE this process! The colors turn out so bright and shiny because of the foil underneath (the pictures really don't do them justice)!

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