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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Panamanian Molas and a special artist!

This is my fourth post this week. I am trying to get caught up by posting every day this week! I always LOVE to hear your thoughts when you leave me comments!
 BTW I wanted to leave this update to the Batik post! Phyl left a fabulous comment and I wanted to share because I have gotten several emails from people who have been doing that in their classrooms!! HEre is the great advice she left in her comment
 I did a few things a little differently when I did batik with my classes. First of all, we put our wax in muffin tins floating in electric fry pans - that way you don't have to worry about cracking glass. We used some paraffin and then added crayon color. The paraffin crackles quite nicely, and extends the crayon color so you don't need to use quite so many crayons. We also had a couple of wax melter units that could be used for smaller amounts of wax. For fabric, to save money we used old white sheets. The whiter the fabric, the brighter the results. So if you buy muslin, you want to make sure it is BLEACHED.

We did not use Rit Dye, because at the time they did not have cold water dyes. I recall using Procion cold water dyes - the colors were very vivid. If you add water to dye, it cannot be warm! 

We ironed between newspaper, and used a LOT of newspaper to get out all the wax for a whole class of students. I would be concerned that all the colored wax of the crayons could really ruin a dry mount press. I had an old iron that was just designated for wax stuff.

....Back to MOLAS!!!
The fifth graders studied about the beautiful Molas of Panama this year. Molas are handmade with bright colors of fabric. They are usually symmetrical and incorporate things that the Panamanian people see in their daily lives.

The word "mola" means "shirt" or "clothing" and is a part of the traditional costume of the Kuna women in Panama.

Fifth graders had to come up with a design that represented them as unique individuals. They had to incorporate things they use/see in daily life. Things that meant something, and inspired them. 

Each shape needed to have at least three layers of paper underneath to create the concentric lines around the shapes

Last week one of my fifth grade students brought in this drawing on a small piece of cardboard. I thought it was such a great drawing with a fabulous composition; he is very talented. 
I took a picture of the drawing and projected it on a few pieces of large butcher paper and gave him some black paint. He finished his "greatest masterpiece" in about 55 minutes! He was so excited and I love how it turned out!! 


  1. Thanks so much Natalie! That was really sweet of you to say!

    1. seriously, I read through your blog and was so inspired! I love how transparent you are with your faith and you are clearly a very talented and awesome teacher! And your artwork is awesome!!

    2. That was a seriously COOL thing you did for your talented student! He will remember that for the rest of his life and you will be one of his greatest inspirations!

  2. I'm hearing Pat there, he will never forget that! Really, really cool : )

  3. Loved what you did for your student!! Pat nailed it, he'll never forget it! Thanks for your inspirations!!

  4. I feel a lot more people need to read this, very good info! . Pure balance dog food

  5. You should show this argument essay outline to your fifth graders. This is what they should know!


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