Art in Action Lesson Spotlight: Alebrijes

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About the Lesson

Art in Action is pursuing the creation of lessons that inspire tolerance, community building and intellectual curiosity through art. The newest addition, the Alebrijes Lesson, celebrates Mexican folk-art. Pedro Linares’ Alebrijes are brightly colored Mexican folk-art figures of fantastical creatures.

Pedro Linares Lopez was an artisan born in Mexico City and invented the paper-maché alebrijes figures. The vibrantly colored creatures were dreamt up (quite literally) by Linares when he fell ill at the age of 30 in 1936. To this day, the Linares family continue to create alebrijes across Mexico with the figures being showcased worldwide.

Art in Action’s Alebrijes Lesson is designed for 4th grade students. It delves into the origin story of the alebrijes creatures and the beauty found in creative explorations of boundless world of fiction. Students brainstorm new realities and sketch their imaginative realities before bringing their creatures to life with paper-maché and paint.



Stories from the Classroom

Our team spends time with students to keep us connected to why art matters. While testing our Alebrijes Lesson, we were once again reminded of how important it is for students to connect to their culture and to be able to express themselves through art. It soon became clear that the children loved the process, the experimentation, and the joy that the lesson elicited.

One boy was thrilled to discover what happened when he mixed red and blue together, exclaiming how he felt like a scientist! Another student came to class with sketches of a fantastical creature he drew at home and wanted to bring to life in the classroom with glue, newspaper, and paint. We want all children to have the chance to experience the wonder, delight, and gratification that comes from art.



Alebrijes is a colorful addition to Art in Action’s lessons that celebrate cultures from around the world. We are ramping up our curriculum development efforts in partnership with a variety of community partners. This lesson was made possible with the help of San Francisco’s Mexican Museum. The work we do is made possible by the generosity of our supporters. To the volunteers, art docents, donors, and overall supporters of Art in Action, we would like to say ‘THANK YOU’ on behalf of children like Rosie and Esthefany who, because of you, are exploring their talents and expanding their horizons.