Alebrijes and Me

At this station, you’ll learn about special creatures from Mexican folklore tradition and look to animals in the world to help you identify powerful qualities inside you that can be developed to help you with climate action. What are your special inner strengths? What do you have in common with powerful creatures? Try this art activity and share your powers to help with climate action.

Goal

Learn about the Mexican folklore tradition of Alebrijes. Tap into your own unique strengths by identifying with powerful creatures. Practice goal setting and developing inner strengths by sharing your powers with others and identify how these strengths can help with climate action.

Resources

Instructions

Read the Alebrijes Story sheet then Using the Alebrijes Animal sheet, show the animal images to students ( we have suggested 6 images, “uncommon: animals: Sloth, Whale, Vulture, Ostrich, Frog, Turtle but you can create your own)

Ask students to identify strengths they see in each animal. They can write it or call it out depending on your group. Help the students find the assets in each animal. For example, “Tree frogs have very special fingers and toes that help them climb and grip on almost any surface. This makes them agile and adaptable.”

Can you pick one strength shown by the animals here that you have? They can write it or call it out depending on your group.

Now we’re going to make our very own Alebrije!  Choose a combination of strengths of the different animals we’ve talked about and draw your own. For example you may have the body of a Frog (showing flexibility)  but the tail of a Whale (showing power) and the legs of an Ostrich (showing speed).Let students have time (3-5 min depending on their attention) to draw their Alebrijes.Gather the students back for sharing in pairs.  Have them tell about their Alebrijes and what special strengths the parts represent of themselves.Gather students back to the whole group for Discussion Questions.

Discussion

    • What was it like to think about special strengths that every creature (including you!) have?
    • What message or feelings does your Alibrije have to give you? 
    • Every single animal is important in the animal kingdom and sometimes we feel like we may not be essential to our communities, but we are! How do you feel about being so important to the world?
    • How can you use this alebrije to help out in your home, community or country? 

 

 

Extensions

To use this activity online / virtually use the provided slides to show participants pictures of alebrijes and animals.

To build Alebrijes from cardboard check out this project: https://mocanomi.org/2020/05/art-project-amazing-alebrijes/

Activity Source

Elsie Ducreux, Sean Foley, Yoshi Newman
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5-15 minutes

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