Tuesday, June 16, 2015

UseItUp! Masks- RES

What does an art teacher do at the end of the year when you have a little of this, a little of that, and tub of construction paper scraps?  Make some zany masks, of course.

These are nothing groundbreaking, nothing revolutionary, but if you ask a second grader at RES they will likely say it was the most awesome project ever!

Step 1: Give the kids a some background info on mask-making traditions around the world. I took a pretty wide brush with this, as there are so very many cultures with vastly differing mask traditions.

 Step 2: Use a large, vertically oriented piece of construction paper, fold it in half, and cut out an interesting shape for the head.

Step 3:  Focus on a feeling you want the mask to give: Fierce? Sad? Silly? Angry?

Step 4:  Give kids access to everything but the kitchen sink, so to speak. Glitter? Sure! Pom poms, yarn, pipe cleaners, feathers, markers, paper curling machine, hole punches, paper scraps? Yes.

This lesson spanned only two classes here at the end of the year.  The second graders just felt so free in this activity, it felt so open, creative, and experimental for them. They are super proud of their work, because each mask is quite different and generated from their own imaginations.

 The part they seemed to enjoy best was walking around the room to see the choices other artists were making.
I love that tongue!  
How did you make those teeth?
It's neat how the nose is 3D!

I loved how happy this little lesson made them. It's frankly the type that I avoid- I fear inappropriate cultural appropriation and misunderstanding of traditions. But I think I need to work to acknowledge that this is also a lesson that makes students feel so imaginative and satisfied!

It's portfolio week, so all of these, along with their other artwork, is coming home soon! 
Enjoy their zany creations!

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