Take your kids to Mexico City with this Frida Khalo art history lesson.
Frida Khalo combines the unique cultural flavors of Mexico into a kaleidoscope of bright, beautiful art.
Colorful, quirky, and wildly inspiring, this artist adds a splash of dreaminess to any art history curriculum.
Frida Khalo Unit Study
I decided to take the unit study approach to old Frida, incorporating science, history, art, geography, and a dash of drama.
Teaching a subject that I love from different angles gives me a fresh perspective and keeps things interesting for the kids.
Monkeys and playing dress-up make art history come alive!
We try to build lessons like this around at least one key book. In this case, (affiliate link —->) Portrait of an Artist: Frida Khalo by Lucy Brownridge presents Frida’s story beautifully.
(I found the whole Portrait of an Artist series an especially lovely addition to our bookshelf).
The Art Project
Naturally, we began our art history lesson with a fine art project.
Of course, a child’s artwork, no matter how freeform, is always beautiful.
But I love coming up with project ideas that look sophisticated but are actually done by the child without much intervention or help.
This one worked out nicely that way.
I came up with this idea for the homeschool co-op and the kids loved it! Basically, I printed a photo I liked of Frida Khalo in black and white, cut it out, and mounted it on black posterboard.
Then, I set out bowls of odds and ends—beads, seashells, and, of course, fake flowers. The kids decorated Frida’s hair. Some got clever and used beads to make a necklace or earrings.
They all came out so cute!
I love coming up with creative ways to turn an art history lesson into a science lesson (and vica versa!)
For this lesson, I latched on to Frida’s love of animals and turned it into a basic biology lesson.
Frida Khalo owned a menagerie of creatures—–some wild, and some domesticated. She often depicted her favorite pets in her art.
Most famously, she owned two spider monkeys and a deer.
So, I borrowed a book from the library about spider monkeys to bring this aspect of her to life.
You can take the opportunity to talk about the natural habitats in Central America.
Or, make it a lesson about conservation and why we know now that it’s not a great idea to keep wild animals in captivity.
If your kids love playing dress-up, make a simple Frida Khalo costume!
Create an easy DIY headpiece with a headband, some bright flowers from the dollar store, and some hot glue.
Want to take it up a notch? Get a festive dress and some turquoise jewelry from the thrift store.
Other Ideas to Consider
Get cooking. Did you know Frida Khalo’s recipes are published in an (affiliate link —>) cookbook? Try her kid-friendly white rice and plantains.
Watch the movie Frida. DEFINITELY ONLY for older kids and teenagers, as there are a lot of adult themes. But it’s a great flick and Salma Hayek portrays Frida Khalo brilliantly.