House of the Scorpion Loteria

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scorpion2bAfter we read House of the Scorpion, I worked up a lesson plan that I have wanted to do for a long time.  I wanted my students to create an personal loteria card that illustrated some event, character, or concept in the story.  Then, they were to write a paragraph explaining why they chose that image and what it had to do with the book.

I hate to say this, but most middle school students are reluctant to draw.  I insisted that they give it their best shot.  Some of them did a great job, some traced their images – that is completely okay with me – and some scratched out the minimum required drawing.  I insisted that they fill in the whole card space – making some sort of background.  After I collected them, I planned to scan in the pictures and make a loteria deck out of them.

There were a few things that I had not control over.  I handed out a list of possible drawings, but I really couldn’t say, “Oh, so-and-so is already drawing a heart (or a wine glass or a scorpion):  why don’t you draw something else?”  So I ended up with a couple of versions of the same sort of image.  Of course, I also warned them that they couldn’t just draw a skull and crossbones because they liked drawing them – it had to be explained in connection with the story.  Of course, some didn’t listen, but that’s another story…

After scanningoctaviooriginal the lot of pictures, I decided to “touch them up” a little bit in PhotoShop.  The first one I did was the one above.  The picture to the left was the original.  I cropped it and enlarged it.  Then, as I usually do, I intensified the hues.  Finally, I used one of the many, many special effects to simulate a stone wall.  In the story, the scorpion is probably not stone-aged, but I really liked the effect.  After that, I worked on a few more, with good results.

As often happens with me and Photoshop, I got more and more involved in my editing process.  So, my question is this:  is it really student art now?  I am thinking about it.  Now, if I were a kindergarten teacher and did something cutesy with my students work, I think that would be okay.  So I am going to go for it.

I have three classes of 9-10 students each, and my plan is to combine the images to create Loteria tablas of nine images each.  Each student will receive a card with his or her image included in the group.  I will have to juggle a bit to replace all of those hearts and wine bottles, but I think it will be something for them to keep and remember from the class.  I will post the finished products later.

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3 responses »

  1. Pingback: Make your own Loteria Deck! « Maison Celeste

  2. Pingback: House of the Scorpion Loteria Card 1 « Maison Celeste

  3. Pingback: The House of Scorpions « The Book Reviews – Website

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