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Frida Kahlo (1907-1954)- Mexican Artist

Updated: Mar 9, 2022

Resources for K-12 teachers and students to learn about the life and art of an influential Female Mexican artist.


General Information Resources for Teachers and Kids



This is a fantastic introductory video to learn about Frida Kahlo's life, art and legacy.


The Frida Kahlo Museum website.



A Virtual Tour of Frida Kahlo's Blue House which plays such an important role in her art.


Google Arts & Culture: An incredible resource of Frida Kahlo's life, art and legacy produced in collaboration with 25+ museums. The place to find high quality images of Frida's works of art. An independent lesson for ages 13-16 in included in the resources.



Resource for Elementary Aged Kids:


Art Lessons:


Bronx Children's Museum The Art of Frida Kahlo Painting &Drawing Self-Portraits Lesson Grade 2-7

This video from the Bronx Children's Museum provides biographical information along with a fantastic art lesson. Suggested for ages 7+, this lesson covers the themes of resilience, adversity and self confidence. #WomenHistory #ArtHistory


Self Portrait Art Lesson from Crayola Grades K-2:


Students explore the works of Frida Kahlo’s self-portraits and the rain forest animals in her paintings. This lesson uses the book Frida by Jonah Winters to introduce Frida Kahlo's works. I will include a video of this book being read.




Books:




Author: BRAD MELTZER Illustrator: CHRISTOPHER ELIOPOULOS

Grade level ‏ : ‎ Kindergarten - 3

Publisher Summary: "This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great--the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. Each book tells the story of an icon in a lively, conversational way that works well for the youngest nonfiction readers and that always includes the hero's childhood influences. At the back are an excellent timeline and photos. This book features Frida Kahlo, the renowned Mexican painter and activist. After surviving a bus crash, she made her mark in art history for her unique way of looking at the world and integrating her own image and life into her paintings."



A read aloud video of the People Change the World Biography series, "I am Frida Kahlo".



 


Author: Monica Brown

Illustrator: John Parra

Grade Level: Pre K - 3

Publisher Summary: The fascinating Mexican artist Frida Kahlo is remembered for her self-portraits, her dramatic works featuring bold and vibrant colors. Her work brought attention to Mexican and indigenous culture and she is also renowned for her works celebrating the female form. Brown's story recounts Frida's beloved pets—two monkeys, a parrot, three dogs, two turkeys, an eagle, a black cat, and a fawn—and playfully considers how Frida embodied many wonderful characteristics of each animal.



 


Author: Margaret Frith

Illustrator: Tomie dePaola

Grade Level: K-4

Summary from Publisher: Through original artwork by the renowned artist Tomie dePaola — a longtime aficionado of Frida Kahlo's work — as well as beautiful reproductions of Kahlo's paintings, this latest Smart About book explores the creative, imaginative world of Mexico's most celebrated female artist.



 


Author: Jonah Winter

Illustrator: Ana Juan

Grade Level: K-3

Summary from Publisher: "When her mother was worn out from caring for her five sisters, her father gave her lessons in brushwork and color. When polio kept her bedridden for nine months, drawing saved her from boredom. When a bus accident left her in unimaginable agony, her paintings expressed her pain and depression - and eventually, her joys and her loves. Over and over again, Frida Kahlo turned the challenges of her life into art. Now Jonah Winter and Ana Juan have drawn on both the art and the life to create a playful, insightful tribute to one of the twentieth century's most influential artists. Viva Frida!"



 

Although this book is for older students, there are individual poems that would be suitable for a younger audience. It is always wonderful when you can integrate poetry into biography studies.


Frida Viva la vida! Long Live Life!

Author: Carmen T. Bernier-Grand

Reading Age: Depends on Poem

Grade Level: Depends on Poem

Summary Review Kirkus Review: "A striking appreciation pairs archival photographs and reproductions of the famed Mexican artist’s work with image-rich free-verse poems. Writing primarily in the voice of the surrealist Frida Kahlo, Bernier-Grand presents readers with 26 poems that take her subject from birth to death, unswervingly touching upon the difficult territory in between: polio, the accident that led to some 31 subsequent operations, her (two) marriages to Diego Rivera, their mutual infidelities and her miscarriages. The poems often refer explicitly to Kahlo’s works, as in “Wounded Deer”—“My barren landscapes show my barren self. / I have lost three children. / Four arrows in my heart / to remind Diego how his shots have made me bleed”—which appears opposite the startling self-portrait that places Kahlo’s face atop a deer pierced with arrows. Beautiful design abets these juxtapositions, both poems and images set against generous white space, thick stock allowing no bleed-through on page turns. Captions help to elucidate the paintings but do not overwhelm. In all, it’s an astonishing effort, buttressed by meaty backmatter that makes Kahlo accessible to a new generation in a way straight text never could."


 

Websites for kids:


Here is a great place for kids to start exploring Frida Kahlo. Google Arts & Culture





A BrainPOP video for elementary students. I nice introduction to the artist, her culture and her art.








Middle and High School level Resources


Frida Kahlo: The Woman Behind the Legend - Grades 7-12


This fantastic video by TedEd comes complete with lesson plans, a review quiz, additional resource and even discussion questions. LESSON LINK HERE.



 

Frida Kahlo: Queen of the Selfie - Lesson plan Grades 9-12

Here is a teacher created lesson plan about Frida Kahlo that gives students insight into art, Mexican culture, and self-expression." It links to an article from CNN that explores Kahlo's use of selfies to share her vision of herself with others. A really great lesson for high school students.


 

The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo - PBS Lesson Plans Grades 9-12



Fantastic lesson plans with supporting materials. An educator's guide to support this topics of Latina/o Studies, Women’s Studies, Social Studies, World History, and Art History. I have included a link for you to preview the video but I suggest purchasing a copy as it is no longer available on the PBS website. Link to purchase from PBS Store.


Here is a lesson on Politics and Art from PBS highlighting Frida Kahlo's art. A printable worksheet is included.


Here is a resource also from PBS that does not require watching the documentary. The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo Parent’s Guide. These are some activities that families can do on their next EDventure while visiting art museums or even Frida's house in Mexico.


 

Museum of Latin American Art - Frida Kahlo resources for Grades K-12


Here is a resource for Educators created by Museum of Latin American Art (MOLLA) in 2017 for the exhibit, Frida Kahlo: Through the lens of Nickolas Muray. Lesson plans for K-12 with links to the Common Core Curriculum provided. Printable worksheets and templates are included.


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