Afirmando Nuestra Identidad (Affirming Our Identity): Exploring Dream Worlds and Storytelling through Alebrijes

byMary Carmen Moreno

Art and stories are two powerful vehicles for transmitting culture and traditions in ways that affirm students’ identity and inspire them to dream. 

Using a biliteracy framework, this unit leads students on a journey to explore stories across multiple genres and visual artwork that introduce or develop their understanding of Mexican cultural traditions, family history, geographical landscapes, and the art of imagination to inspire individual stories featuring alebrijes—brightly-colored, fantastical, animal-like sculptures that emerged from the dreams of an artist and evolved into one of the most unique examples of arte popular Mexicano.   

This unit is designed for 2nd grade emergent bilingual students of Mexican origin who are learning to read and write in both Spanish and English.  Activities and strategies integrate the visual arts to facilitate a deeper critical lens that extends their level of analysis of traditional literature as critical thinkers and storytellers.

(Developed for Language Arts/Bilingual Education, grade 2; recommended for Language Arts/General Education,grades 1-3, and Arts Education, grades K-3)

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