Digital Sugar Skull Art Project
Do you need an engaging Day of the Dead art project that will work for both your virtual and in-person students? This Google Slides activity requires no prep and includes a writing component to tie literacy into art. Your students will feel successful in designing their own digital sugar skull for Día de los Muertos. It’s as simple as copy and paste!
Build a Calavera Activity Preview
Overview of Creating a Digital Sugar Skull
First, your students will select a background to place all their items onto. Next, they’ll add a digital sugar skull and make it big. Then, they’ll paste in eyes, a nose, a mouth, and any decorations they like. There are three slides of decorations they can use to dress up the Day of the Dead skull as well as the background.
This art project is a great exercise in teaching about symmetry. I’ve included directions on how to copy a graphic and flip it so the designs are symmetrical. I also explain how to group objects so kids can select several objects, group, and flip them all at once. This teaches them a new skill and saves time!
And, if you’d like to take it a step further, have students take a picture of something seasonal like marigolds, bales of hay, etc. and then have them insert that into the background instead. Use it as an opportunity to teach students about composition and lighting.
These digital sugar skull templates include 172 moveable graphics for your students to decorate their own unique calavera. Step-by-step directions are included at the beginning of the Google Slides document to show students how to flip or change the size of an image as well as how to copy and paste them into new slides.
The download contains a two-page PDF with directions on how to access the design a sugar skull templates. And this document comes ready to go in Google Drive, so don’t worry about trying to figure out how to import it into your Drive!
I’ve included directions for some basics like copy/pasting, rotating, ordering, and adjusting the size of images as well as how to group items.
You Will Receive
- 1 Non-Editable PDF – Basic overview of the art project included.
- Google Drive Access Link – A link to download the virtual carve a digital sugar skull templates located on page 2 and 3 of the PDF.)
- 9 Student Directions Slides – These slides explain how to use some of the basic features of Google Slides including how to copy/paste, rotate, scale up/down, and change the order of objects in a layout.
- 7 Student Useable Background Slides – These include solid-colored backgrounds with photo corners. The slides are inserted into the background so the students can not move them.
- 172 Moveable Objects – These items can be copied and pasted into the background slides mentioned above. They will use these items to decorate their sugar skull. There are images of eyes, noses, mouths, and decorations. (DISCLAIMER: the graphics used in this file may not be used to create commercial resources).
- 2 Writing Prompts – These Day of the Dead prompts are designed to work for students in third through sixth grades.
- 4 Teacher Examples – The last four slides of the deck can be used to demonstrate on and show students a completed version of the project. Do not include these when you send a copy of the build a sugar skull project to your students.
- Each template page is designed on 8.5×11″ slides and can be printed if desired.
Frequently Asked Questions for Digital Sugar Skull Art Project
- Does this work in Schoology, Microsoft Teams, Seesaw, and Canvas? Yes! Anything created in Google Slides can be shared with students. You’re just using those LMS’s to assign things.
- Do students need their own Google account to use this? Yes, they will need access to Slides to work in Slides, However, you can download the file in PowerPoint and have students use that instead. Keep reading to learn more.
- Can I use these digital sugar skull templates in PowerPoint? Absolutely. Anything made in Google Slides can be downloaded into PowerPoint. First, open the file in Slides. Then, go to FILE >> DOWNLOAD >> MICROSOFT POWERPOINT.
- Can students add their own graphics and text to the design? Yes! This is such a great way to incorporate photography into your lessons. Have students take a picture and upload it to their Drive. Once in there, they can import it into the slide.
- How do I get the virtual sugar skull templates to show up in my school Google account if I accidentally opened it in my personal account? Very easy. First, log out of your personal account. Then, log into your school Google account. Lastly, click on the link in the PDF and it will show up in your Drive.
- Do I need to buy a download for each student? No. But you do need to purchase a license for each adult who will use it in your school.
- I downloaded your PDF, but I can’t figure out where to access the Google Slides document. Very easy! Check the bottom of page 2 and the middle of page 3.
This was AMAZING. It was SO much fun to do something artsy after learning about the Day of the Dead in my English Language development classes. I also used it with my after school club – since we are remote, it was the perfect thing to get everyone talking! They made their own slide then pasted it into a blank slideshow with every other student’s slide. They had so much fun talking about each other’s work and giving compliments – fun, good speaking practice, opened up the shy ones – I would and will use this again. – Sara M.
The students loved this activity. I enjoyed it too. For classes that have high needs I just cut some slides out to give them less options. – Ana G.
Such a great and fun digital activity! I was able to easily screen share to show my students each step and the different functions in Google Slides. I teach art and always love to do a Day of the Dead project each year, this was a great addition to my rotating lessons for this holiday. – Karyn B.