Wednesday, October 3, 2007

5th Grade Masks

The fifth grade students recently finished a major project: Native American inspired masks. We looked at images of several Native American masks and found examples of symmetry, patterns, and layered colors. We used these masks as inspiration as we made our own paper masks. I gave the students five requirements. The had to layer colors, break the boundaries of their masks, make them three dimensional, use patterns, and make them mostly symmetrical.

This is the lesson plan that I based this project on. I made a mask like this in high school and really loved it. I'm a cut and paste kind of person.

Although this project took longer than I expected, I think the 5th graders are proud of their work. I also think that most of them had fun. On the day we started making these, one girl asked me, "Do you mean that we can do anything we want, as long as we follow these five guidelines?" Exactly. I loved watching them come up with ideas and then figure out how to make their ideas work.

When we finished this project, I had the students write artist statements about their masks. They followed these prompts:
1. Desbribe your mask. (Details)
2. Does your mask have a personality? Does it show emotion? What does it express and why? (Interpretation)
3. How do you feel about this project? Why? (Value)

I really enjoyed reading their honest responses. You'll be able to read them at our Arts Night in November. Watch for more information.

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