Aztec Sun Stones
I originally created this project for fifth graders, but have also adapted it for seventh graders.
The students begin by learning the basic history of the Aztec people and their use of a giant stone calendar. We look at different images of the sun stone and discuss the impact it has had on Mexican history.
After the introductory part of the lesson, students work to make their own version of the Aztec Sun Stone. They begin by drawing on paper with pencil. I require them to place a face in the middle of their sun stone and have a repeating pattern around the outer part of their circle. We discuss how to create a radial design and the difference between an AAA pattern and an ABAB pattern.
Each student creates a unique and individual sun stone that is then transferred onto a piece of styrofoam by tracing. The styrofoam becomes a relief pattern and the perfect printing plate.
We spend an entire day adding ink and printing a variety of copies of their sun stones. Each student ends up with one print to turn in for a grade and several others to share with friends and family.