DAY OF THE DEAD SUGAR SKULL – Symmetry, Repetition, Colour

Students use mathematical thinking to draw a skull on black paper. They paint the skull white and use markers to decorate it with repeated lines and shapes typical of the designs on the calaveras de azúcar – sugar skulls given as gifts during The Day of the Dead.

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DAY OF THE DEAD SUGAR SKULL – Symmetry, Repetition, Colour


  • Crayola Paint Brushes
  • Crayola Black Construction Paper
  • Crayola Markers
  • Crayola Acrylic Paint - White
  • Crayola Scissors
  • Crayola Glitter Glue
  • Crayola Coloured Pencils - White
  • Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Paper Towels


Step 1
  1. Paint 2 coats of white acrylic paint on a small piece of black construction paper.
  2. Allow the paint to dry between coats.
  3. Place the paper aside.
  4. Save it for later in this project.
Step 2
  1. Use the How to Draw a Sugar Skull worksheet to draw a skull. (Downloads – SugarSkulls.pdf)
Step 3
  1. Erase the guidelines.
  2. Fold your drawing in half along the vertical line of symmetry.
  3. Cut it out.
Step 4
  1. Use a white pencil to trace the skull onto a piece of black construction paper.
  2. Save the cut-out skull for later.
Step 5
  1. Paint the skull with 2 coats of white acrylic paint.
  2. Set the painting aside to dry.
Step 6
  1. Experiment with colours and designs on the painted paper and skull cutout.
Step 7
  1. Use the colours and patterns you like the best on your painted skull.
  2. Add glitter glue to emphasize parts of the design.
  3. From time to time look at your design from a distance to see it with fresh eyes.
Illustrated Crayon Character