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Clay Masks with 3rd Grade

Clay Masks

  To make these charming clay animal masks, we used plastic face molds (with a layer of plastic wrap in between) as a slump mold for the clay.  Another option was to use the back side of a styrofoam bowl to shape the mask.  The children added and secured the parts of the face.  After firing, they were painted with clay glazes.

Paper Mache Masks — 3rd & 4th Grade

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 … Read more…

Mixed Media Masks for 2nd Grade

How many of you have also been off of school Monday and Tuesday this week?  This is our 4th day off of school because of cold weather.  It is supposed to be -45 windchills tomorrow morning, so we already know school is cancelled. I love making masks with kids! My second grade students learn about Alaska in their Social Studies class, so I introduce Alaskan masks to the kids.  We actually watch clips from a video series to teach about … Read more…

Studying African Masks: 3rd Grade

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The 3rd graders studied Africa in their social studies classroom and we learned about African masks in art class. The students watched a video that explained about the functions of masks, celebrations, rituals and materials used to make the masks.  (Crizmac Tribal Designs video)   Using markers, the third graders drew their own masks.  The students were encouraged to include human and/or animal features and to personalize the masks with colors and designs of their own choosing. When we made … Read more…

2nd Grade Masks inspired by Alaska

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I think Alaskan native masks are so beautiful. Our 2nd graders learn about Alaska in their social studies class and to connect with this unit, they explore the meanings and characteristics of Alaskan native art.   Here is an example of a mask from Alaska: Our masks are colorful and each child felt free to express their own ideas and to create their own meanings for their mask. We watched an excellent Alaskan art video that I highly recommend. It … Read more…

Papermache Masks– 3rd and 4th grade


This is an art project that I repeat every year, because it is such a great process for the kids… starting with an initial sketched idea, building an armature, applying paper mache, painting and adding embellishments.  I tie this lesson to the Pacific Northwest Coast masks. You can see masks from previous years here and the process photos here. Thank you if you voted for me in the Art Ed blog of the year contest!  While I did not place … Read more…

Pacific Northwest Coast Masks– third/fourth grades


The third/fourth grade classes made paper mache masks.  We used inspiration from the Pacific Northwest Coast masks and viewed a video about their culture.  Here are the steps we used. Start with a papermache mask form (we used some from Nasco). Then, add appendages with newspapers, LOTS of masking tape, pieces of cardboard, yogurt containers, etc. So much fun to build up a mask! After all the parts are very secured with tape (and I mean lots of tape, MORE … Read more…