In Their Own Images

byYolanda Bezares-Chavez

This unit represents an effort to introduce my young students to the Mexican Muralism movement, and its three main protagonists: Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros, and Jose Clemente Orozco. The unit offers biographical information about these celebrated artists, and describes the historical and social circumstances that set the stage for the creation of this movement. One of the main components in this unit is the exploration of the significant visual narratives embedded on the Mexican murals. These narratives send strong social messages that continue to reach new generations and, in my opinion, deservedly so.

To ensure that this unit provides my students with meaningful first-hand experiences that help them to understand and appreciate their community, I am including a section about the Richmond Mural Project. This project, which involves the efforts of local and international artists, has made Richmond the city with most murals in our country. To provide my students with a first-hand understanding about the social and artistic contributions made by those artists, we will go on a field trip to see some of the local murals. In addition, one of the artists participating in the project will visit my classroom to talk to my class. The students will conclude the unit creating their own painting, which will be accompanied with a written piece.

(Developed for Spanish Immersion, grade 1; recommended for Art, Social Studies, and Foreign Language [Spanish], grades 6-12)

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