Mexican Paper Bag Poncho



Art 207-8, Group 4

Lana Coenen, Ericia Ojeda, Dustin Ford, Tara Scully

Date of presentation: April 27th, 2004





1.      Students will learn about Mexico and their culture.

2.      Students will learn a brief history of Cinco de Mayo.

3.      Students will learn that a poncho is a functional piece of clothing.

4.      Students will create their own poncho using their choice of design and colors.


Student Materials:


-         large brown paper grocery bag

-         tempera paint

-         paintbrushes

-         containers for paint and water

-         yarn


Teacher Materials:


-         actual poncho (if possible)

-         variety of transparencies including Mexican flag, map, and poncho

-         examples of previously made paper bag ponchos




-         poncho

-         Cinco de Mayo

-         Independence




1.      Introduction:  Briefly discuss location of Mexico, Mexican flag, and history of Cinco de Mayo.  Present an actual poncho and discuss the use of them.

2.      Pass out prepared paper grocery bags to each student.  Teachers should cut a hole in the top of the bag for the neck. 

3.      Instruct students to decorate one side of bag using tempera paint and their choice of design.  Be sure that the entire front is covered.

4.      After one side of grocery bag is covered completely and dries, attach yarn or tissue paper on bottom with glue as fringe.

5.      Lastly, assist students in cutting slits along each side.

6.      Closure: Have students share their Cinco de Mayo ponchos and their choice of design with rest of class.


Visual Procedures:


            Step 1:  Teachers should cut out neck holes in top of each bag for students.

            Step 2:  Begin to decorate one side of bag with designs using tempera paint.

            Step 3:  Once one side in completely filled and dried, glue tissue paper or yarn on bottom        

                        As fringe.

            Step 4:  Lastly, assist students in cutting slits on each side.


Suggestions and/or Comments:


Crayons, markers, or oil pastels can replace the tempera paint.  This can also be a part of an entire unit on Mexico.  Other activities can include short writing assignments or stories, learning to count to ten in Spanish, or learning a childrenfs Spanish song.  The unit can also be closed with a fiesta, including traditional food and music. 


Artistic Development for Kindergartners:


Most children in Kindergarten are in the beginning stages of the symbolic or schematic stage.  It is during this stage that children develop their line and shape making skills.  Their muscular coordination in using drawing tools, scissors, and glue are also beginning to develop.  The beginning stages include drawing simple, recognizable images called symbols and producing them deliberately and as a controlled act.  These are often not more complicated then a head and feet figure and usually geometric shapes are used more than realistic shapes.  During this stage, children will also progress from randomly placing objects anywhere on the paper to developing some type of spatial recognition and placing certain objects in specific places on the paper. 


Cultural/Historical Background:


Cinco de Mayo celebrates the victory of the Mexican Army over the French Army at the Battle of Puebla in 1862.  Cinco de Mayo is NOT Mexican Independence Day.  Mexican Independence Day is actually on September 16.  In this country we celebrate Cinco de Mayo to honor the people of Mexico and to recognize their culture.  We often have parties, eat Mexican food, and listen to Mexican music.  It is also a celebration of pride and freedom.  The first Cinco de Mayo celebration in this country was in 1967 by a group of college students who felt that the Mexican culture needed to be appreciated.



Herberholz, Donald and Barbara.  Artworks for Elementary Teachers.  Ninth Edition. 

McGraw-Hill, New York: 2002.  Pages 100-109.




Overall the feedback received from the class was great.  The organization of the entire presentation was mentioned, as well as the instructions being very clear.  The introduction seemed to be the most favorite among the class.  The history along with the visuals made the introduction interesting and understandable.  The real life poncho contributed a great deal to the introduction as well.  Another thing mentioned was how we all cooperated together and had equal parts in the presentation.  It was also a great way to have an art project using recycled materials.  Some things that could have gone smoother was cleanup.  The cleanup intructions should have been more specific and more time should have been allowed.  The map of Mexico also should have been a map showing not only Mexico, but either a world map or one showing the United States and Mexico.  That way kindergartners could see Mexico in relation to where they live.