These paper mache masks by the 3rd/4th grade received lots of compliments when they were hanging in the hallway.
The class was studying Native American history in their Social Studies and we looked at some Pacific Northwest Coast masks and we discussed the functions of masks in general throughout the world.
We started with a mask form (made of paper mache) that I ordered in a class pack from Nasco. From this starting point, the students built up and embellished their mask by creating an armature with newspapers and masking tape. The key is to use LOTS of masking tape to really secure the parts. They built up beaks, noses, ears, horns, cheeks, mouths and other appendages. Then, they used newspaper strips dipped in Elmers Paper Mache Art Paste to coat their masks.
After the paper mache was dry, the students painted their masks with acrylic paints.
Additional materials were added: feathers, fur, raffia, yarn, ribbon and fabric.