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Visual Arts Lesson: St. Michael, the Archangel

Creating a papier mache sculpture

Relevant TEKS

•Knowledge and skills. Complete TEKS for 6th grade art.

1. Perception: a. and b.
2. Creative expression/performance: a.and c.
3. Historical cultural heritage: a. and b.

4. Response/evaluation: a. and b.


•The students will describe this work of art as reflecting the beliefs of Mexicans in the viceregal period. Will explain the origins of the process in indigenous cultures of Mexico, and how the sculpture as a whole represents European and indigenous traditions.
•The students will describe the process and materials used in the creation of this work of art.
•The students will create their own sculptures in a lightweight material that shows themselves in an active pose.

Introducing the
Work of Art


Large Image

•While viewing a large image of this sculpture, the students will describe the subject matter and discuss that subject in its historical context
•Students will describe the elements of art: color, line, shape, value and texture and the principles of art such as repetition, and balance in this work of art and explain how the use of these elements and principles contribute to the expressive effect of this piece.
•Students will note the material used in creating this work of art and discuss similar materials and how they are used today.

Art Activity

Four to five 45 minute periods

light wire and wood block

papier mache materials(paste, newspaper,etc.)
paint and brushes

•Students will sketch themselves in an active pose from their own life...running, jumpling, playing tennis,etc. and the type of outfit they wear when engaged in that activity.
•Students will build an armature of wire 10-12 inches tall (light- weight clothes hanger wire will work for this) and attach it with nails to a base of wood until firm.
•The students will cover the armature with strips of newspaper to complete the form to represent themselves in a physical activity. When the work is completely formed and dried they will paint in their features and their clothing with tempera paint and spray over the completed work with lacquer or shellac to preserve it.
•The finished pieces should be displayed in the room with a photo of St James.

Evaluation Procedure

•Students will discuss their work of art and how they met the lesson objectives. Students could also write a comparison of their work of art with the sculpture of St Michael in terms of elements and principles of art and expressive quality.

•Each piece of sculpture should be strong enough to stand by itself on its wooden base, show the physical characteristics of the student who created the piece, represent that student in a recognizable physical activity, and be painted to show detail and complete the work to be attractive as a work of art. See assessment matrix.

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