Lesson 14.6: Social Studies Connection

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Mexican Papier-Mâché

Papier-Mâché is a popular craft in Mexico. The artist uses scraps of paper, glue, and paint to make different shapes. You can buy bowls, masks, dolls, and other items made of papier-mâché.

You can make a papier-mâché craft yourself, with help from an adult. Read the directions to learn how to make your own papier-mâché craft.

You will need:

  • newspaper
  • large bowl
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of warm water
  • balloon (any shape will work)
  • paintbrush
  • paint
  • pin
  1. Tear the newspaper into long, thin strips.
  2. Prepare the glue. Mix the water and flour in the large bowl.
  3. Blow up a balloon and tie off the end. You may need an adult to help you.
  4. Dip a newspaper strip into the glue. Make sure both sides of the paper are covered with glue
  5. Lay the paper strip across the balloon. Use your hands to smooth out any wrinkles or folds.
  6. Continue dipping the newspaper strips and laying them on the balloon until the balloon is completely covered with paper.
  7. Let the papier-mâché dry overnight.
  8. When the papier-mâché is dry, use a pin to pop the balloon inside.
  9. Paint your craft with colorful paints. Be creative.

When the paint dries you will have created a beautiful piece of papier-mâché art.

Word Wise

Something that is made by hand, requiring skill: Sewing is my favorite craft.

A small piece: We made a quilt out of old scraps of fabric.

A covering worn to hide the face: For the school play, I wore a mask to make me look like a cat.

Somewhat hot, but not very hot: I'll let my tea cool off until it is just warm.

To make something not rough: I used sandpaper to smooth the rough wood.

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Make a word web. Write the word warm in the center circle. Use words from the article that are related to the word hot. Think of some other words that are related and write them in the remaining circles. You may use a thesaurus to complete your word web.

If time allows, make a word web for the word smooth.

Data Hunt

Imagine that you made many papier-mâché items that you would like to sell.

Draw five papier-mâché items. Write a description of each. How much will each item cost? List the price in cents for each of the items.

Next to each item, list the coins that someone might use to pay for each craft. Use half-dollars, quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies.