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This is a lesson on Ecuadorian Masapán bread dough sculpting


Art, Social Studies  


K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  


Title – Masapán Bread-Dough Sculptures
By – Señorita Thomas
Primary Subject – Art
Secondary Subjects – Social Studies
Grade Level – K-5 

Average Activity Time: 30 minutes

Masapán sculpting is a special craft technique associated with the town of Calderón in Ecuador. It is an artform from which beautiful and detailed figurines are created from a bread dough mixture (Masapan means bread-dough). It is said that the exact mixture varies from artisan to artisan, and that the recipe is a family secret, passed down through the generations. Masapán crafts are unique to Ecuador.

Sculpting masapán figurines is a fun activity for children. They appreciate the simplicity of the ingredients used to make their items, and despite protests of yucky hands, they enjoy the tactile stimulation of molding and mixing the bread and glue. Have fun with this activity.

Step-by-Step Instructions

      Materials needed per child: 3 slices of white bread, lots of glue (2 – 3 tablespoons), poster board paint and paint brushes.
      Peel the crust off 3 slices of white bread (my students like to eat the crust) and break into smaller pieces.
      Add lots of glue to the mix (approximately 2 – 3 tablespoons full, or enough to cover the bread without soaking it completely.
      Mix the bread and glue thoroughly with hands until the mix becomes doughy and pliable enough to be molded.
      Sculpt your desired image… perhaps something with a summer theme. You may want to first show students examples of designs you have premade, as well as show actual masapán artwork for creative inspiration.
    Paint the masapán figurines with brightly colored tempura paint.

Depending on the age and skill of your students, I recommend sculpting the following:

      Elementary ages: a sombrero, a pitcher of tea, an American flag, an ice cream cone, an animal, a picture frame.
    Preschool / Pre-K: a sun, a moon, stars, or some amazing object taken from their imagination… This age group may fair better by using cookie-cutters.

For additional information on Masapán crafts and the artisans of Calderón who create them, visit Union of Progressive Masapan Artisans of Calderón, Ecuador.

E-Mail Señorita Thomas !

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