In this unit, student artists learn about the history and creation of a Mexican folk art called Alebrije, Alebrije’s are imaginary creatures, usually sculptural, painted with bright colors and patterns. For this project, students create their own imaginary creatures using collage, draw them, create a background, add texture with oil pastels, and then finish them with a watercolor resist. There is an emphasis on color choices and texture.

Scope & Sequence:


Lesson 1: In this lesson, student artists learn about Mexican Alebrijje, then create their own by looking through magazines and collaging animals together.

Lesson 2: In this lesson, student artists learn about the annual Alebrije parade, then draw the basic shapes of their creature large on a paper. 

Lesson 3: Student artists learn about warm and cool colors, explore color combinations then experiment on their own with different ways of using color. 

Lesson 4: In this lesson student artists learn about how Alebrijje have lots of patterns, then they create patterns on their creature using oil pastels and watercolors, following the color plan they came up with in Lesson 3.

Lesson 5: Allow a fifth day to paint the background, finish, and refine work.

Lesson 6: Optional. a final day for finishing.

(you can preview the first lesson in a project without enrolling by clicking on ‘lesson 1’ above).


The above will take you to a supply list that assumes a class size of 30. Adjust according to your needs. 

Books & Media:
L3. Optional: Chameleon’s Colors by Chisato Tashiro OR A Color of His Own by Leo Lionni

Art Elements: 

Line, shape/form, color, texture


Art Principles: 

Pattern, proportion/scale, emphasis


National Core Visual Art Standards: VA:Cr2.1.1a, VA:Cr2.1.2a, VA:Cr3.1.1a, VA:Cr3.1.2a, VA:Re.7.2.1a, VA:Cn11.1.1a 



Language Arts (could complement any unit on Hispanic culture or act as a compare/contrast to units on Mythological Creatures), U.S. History (could complement a unit on immigration/different cultures)


Common Core Standards: 

W.1.2, SL.1.1a, SL.2.1a, SL.1.1b, SL.2.1b, SL.1.1c, SL.2.1c, SL.1.2 SL.2.2, SL.1.3, SL.2.3



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Navigation tip: when you first go through the project, you must hit the 'mark complete' button, at the bottom of the page, to unlock the next lesson. After 'mark complete' has been hit, you've unlocked that lesson, and you can then use the sidebar to easily click to different lessons within the project (helpful if you are working through the project with more than one class).

Why do I need to hit mark complete? Certain lessons have email triggers (such as teaching tips when there is a painting lesson), and this helps us know when to send them. It also helps us track completion rates.

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