Diego Rivera

Diego Rivera

There are two videos to choose from to learn about Diego Rivera.

The first one is better for younger kids, the second one will appeal to older kids. Feel free to watch one, or both!

You may see a number of other videos that are a deeper dive into things you might be interested in. Feel free to watch as many of those as you like. Then choose some activities and/or a project. 

High school students or any student who wants to dig deeper, continue your study with one of the advanced learning projects in the Projects section.

Take A Deeper Dive!

This video highlights 138 works created by Diego Rivera. It provides valuable insight into the history and life of Mexican people. You may wish to pause the video on some or all of the works to take a longer look at them.

Activities

Recreate a Mural by Diego Rivera

You will need:

  • Paper
  • Something to draw with – coloured pencils, pens or crayons

Watch the video and recreate a Diego Rivera painting

Include a copy of your mural in your portfolio.

Create a Fact File on Mexico

Diego Rivera’s works often depicted the real life experiences of Mexican people. 

Create a country profile for Mexico using this template from Layers of Learning.

To discover more about Mexico, use these resources:

Include a copy of your Mexico profile in your portfolio.

Create a Diego Rivera Biography

Create a biography project about Diego Rivera.

Here is a basic biography template from Squarehead Teachers for you to download and fill in.

Use the videos above, the books below, and other research online or through your library to discover more about Diego Rivera’s life.

Save your written biography for your portfolio.

Project(s)

Create a presentation on the life of Diego Rivera

Using the knowledge you now have, and the resources below, create a presentation about the life and works of Diego Rivera. You could use Powerpoint or Google Slides, make a video or create a poster.

Think about what you might like to include, such as key life events and places, most famous works and interesting facts. Don’t forget to upload your presentation to your portfolio.

Dive into Cubism

In 1907, Diego Rivera travelled to Europe to study Spanish art. He noticed the geometric landscapes many European artists were painting, and this led him on a journey into Cubism.

Cubism is a unique and often abstract art form. The artist looks at an object from several points of view, and builds a piece from the individual fragments which, in ‘real life’ are three-dimensional, but two-dimensional on the canvas.

“I immediately surrendered to the glory of cubism and hailed it as the most authentic way to reach my deepest feelings”: Diego Rivera 

Watch this video which explains more about the Cubist art movement.

Learn more about Diego Rivera’s journey into Cubism here 

Now choose from one (or more!) of the videos below and have a go at creating a Cubist masterpiece!

You will need:

  • Paper
  • Something to draw with – Pens / Pencils / Paints

Feel like you’ve got the hang of Cubism? Why not create a cubist self-portrait! This video will guide you if you need some inspiration.

Include a copy of your artwork in your portfolio.

Advanced Project(s)

Choose at least one.

Create a Timeline

Use the Ducksters.com website and this video introduction to Mexican History, to learn more about the key events affecting Mexico.

Use this template from graphicorganizer.net or Time Graphics to create your timeline. Be creative! Feel free to add images, quotes or illustrations to your work. Dive into any events which spark your interest.

Include the following key dates:

  • ~1000 BC: The Mayan Civilisation is formed
  • ~1200 BC: The Aztecs arrive in the Valley of Mexico
  • 1517 AD: The Spanish explorer Hernandez de Cordoba reaches the shores of southern Mexico starting the Spanish occupation of Mexico.
  • 1520-1810 AD: Enslaved African people brought to Mexico
  • 1600 AD: Spain conquers Mexico and Spanish settlers arrive
  • 1810 AD: The War of Independence begins
  • 1821 AD: The War of Independence ends and Mexico declares its independence
  • 1829 AD: Mexico abolishes slavery
  • 1846 AD: The Mexican-American War
  • 1910 AD: The Mexican Revolution
  • 2015 AD: African-Mexicans added to the census for the first time

Now take a look at this timeline and this analysis of Diego Rivera’s life. (These are the links you may have visited in Project 1.)

Add the key dates to your timeline, along with the creation of some of his most famous works. Feel free to add others.

  • 1909 AD: El Picador
  • 1913 AD: Woman At A Well
  • 1933 AD: Detroit Industry, North Wall
  • 1934 AD: Man at the Crossroads 
  • 1950 AD: Totonac Civilization 

Include a copy of your timeline in your portfolio.

Write a Poem, Song, or Rap

Write a poem, song, or rap about one of Diego Rivera’s murals. Poems and songs often capture the experience or emotion of a moment. Think about how you can connect to the human element of the story in writing your poem.

Consider:

  • The thoughts and feelings tied to the mural
  • The best kind of poem to express this
  • If you’re writing a song, consider the type of music you choose to add to the purpose of the poem. Bear in mind cultural appropriation vs appreciation of other cultures
  • If you’re writing a rap, consider how the flow and cadence of the words and the syllabic percussion can add emphasis and connect the listener to the intent of poem

Some ideas to choose from:

“Dream of a Sunday Afternoon in Alameda Central” was a controversial work by Diego Rivera. A large mural, which drew attention to issues such as the subjugation of Mexico’s Indigenous people, the War of Independence, and into the 20th Century. 

“Sugar Cane”, a mural which depicts ideas around class-struggles, and the racism faced by Indigenous persons. 

“Man Controller of The Universe” another controversial work which was commissioned by The Rockefellers, but subsequently destroyed.

Upload it to your portfolio as a written piece, or record it as video.

Books

Read Aloud Book(s)