Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Ofrendas--Celebrating Life

My art students in 4th and 5th Grades created an Ofrenda to celebrate a loved one—person or pet—who has passed away.  Ofrenda creating is part of a Mexican tradition called the Days of the Dead celebrated November 1-3.  During this happy celebration, Mexican people celebrate those who have passed away.  They celebrate with music, dancing and special foods.  They tell stories of their loved ones.   

The fourth and fifth grade students learned about the Days of the Dead and talked with their families about those who have lived before.  Many students do not know anyone who has died; they learned about great grandparents and the stories about them.  They began with collecting stories and mementos and then artfully put them in a small box.

Brooke's Ofrenda is celebrating her cat, Hazel.


Colin created his Ofrenda to celebrate his fish, Fluffy.  He is just beginning in this photo.

 Landon created his about his grandfather and added jewels to the top.

Elena working with clay.

Julia's Ofrenda is about Smilely Kylie.

Smiley Kylie
Kylie was very happy and always smiling.  My connection with  Kylie is that she was my second cousin.  She lived in a very calm spot in Winona.  I liked that she was always smiling through her not so in awe life.  Her best thing that she did through her whole life was smile and laugh. .  So this was Kylie's awesome life!

 Clarice talked to her Dad to get some more information about a beloved dog, Dixie.

"My dad said that she was one-in-a million.  We lived in a green house in the country when she was still alive.  She did not bite us, she was also very funny.   She ran behind the four wheeler.  We played together."

Some of the children had only one precious picture that they carefully brought to school and I scanned to allow them to use a copy on the ofrenda and return the original back to them for safe keeping.  Some of the students used clay to create some items.  Jocelyn's grandmother liked to sit in a purple chair and knit.

"My Grandma, Sarah was 73 when she died on 9/2013.  She died of a cancer. She died when I was camping with Macy.  I am connected to my Grandma because she was sort of the center of my family.  My Grandma lived with my Grandpa in Winona, Minnesota.  Their house is very old.  I like my Grandma because she was nice, creative, sweet.  My Grandma used to knit stuff for everyone in my family and baked food for everyone."  
by Jocelyn

An exhibit of all the Ofrendas is currently in the Ridgeway Community School Library through November 20th. The photographs only show a limited reflection of the work of the children.  Seeing them personally is worth a visit.

To see more artwork of the children of Ridgeway Community School, go to Artsonia.

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