Red Trunk Project

sample Oaxaca trunk

Sample Lessons: HUIPIL

Support materials:

Fabric swatches with different designs.

Mini Docs:
1) The meanings of different designs

2) How the dresses are made, and where they are worn.

  • Have students bring in something they wear that identifies them. It could be a favorite pair of shoes, a hair ornament, a belt or shirt, etc. Put the objects on a table anonymously. Each child should pick up an object that’s not his or hers and write three things about the person who owns or wears it (e.g. red headband = like to keep hair out of face, maybe wearer has long hair? Or just likes the color red) As each student presents his or her chosen object, owner can comment on what the object means. Then, debrief as a group: How does what we wear reflect who we are? (NYC SS 3.4; SS Practices A, C; Literacy.SL.3.4)
  •  Show students the huipil without telling them what it is. As they explore it visually and  tactilely, have them do a Think-Pair-Share to answer the following questions: What do you see? What do you think it is? What is it made of? Who uses it? Is it for a male or female? How is it used or worn? What does it tell you about the culture in which it is made and used? Share responses with the group and then show them the archaeological image. What do you notice? Which object do you think is older? What is the same/different about what you see in the historical image/object? What does this suggest about the object? Debrief, giving them ethnographic information about the object (see above) and showing video of weaving huipiles followed with the following questions: How does what Oaxacan women and girls wear compare to what you are wearing? To the objects you brought in? How does what we wear reflect who we are? (NYC SS 3.4, 3.5; SS Practices A, B, C, D; Literacy RI.3.7)
  • Research other cultures in which people wear clothing particular to their history/culture. Students can compare and contrast in a chart what is similar and different about the clothing. (NYC SS 3.4, 3.5; SS Practices A, B, C, D; Literacy RI.3.7; Literacy W.3.7)
  • Students can design their own clothing that reflects who they are/ their history/culture. This could be a good collaboration with the art teacher as an art project which students could display in their classrooms. (NYS SS 3.4, 3.5; NYS Arts 1)

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Red Trunk Project

Red Trunk Project

Red Trunk Project

Red Trunk Project®

Red Trunk Project