The Frida Kahlo Symbolism Project

I teach in a School of the Arts and Technology, and every year, we work to create projects that incorporate the arts into classroom content. I was thrilled this year when one of our 4/5 teachers, Mike, came to me to share that he had spent a lot of time this summer learning about Frida Kahlo, and even visiting one of her homes! 

He knew he wanted to do something related to Frida, and I immediately thought of a project that I had done my first year of teaching with 6th graders at Logan Middle School. The students had to create a piece of art about a journey, where they were now, where they had been, and where they hoped to wind up in the future. I thought I could definitely spruce up this lesson and make it even more exciting for my 4/5 students.

I began by showing them a Brainpop video about Frida Kahlo, and then used a fun Keynote (below) to introduce some of her art and some ideas for this project. I was so happy with their energy and passion for this project! The kids were thrilled to get to express things about themselves in their art and really jumped at the challenge to incorporate all different kinds of symbols into their work, including direct, indirect and abstract symbols. 

After the students worked to create their art, using iPads to look at pictures of things and draw them to the best of their abilities, I shared a video with the students that showed them ways they could choose to color their projects, using either sharpie/colored pencil or watercolor. 

When their projects were completed, the real magic began. I had students create a Clips video sharing their piece of art with the world, and explaining what each of their symbols meant. I also had students give each other feedback on their videos, telling each other things that they should add, change, or remove. It was amazing to hear them critique each other and find kind ways to help one another grow in their video creation skills. The finished products were wonderful. It took this project to a whole new level. Check out an example below.