917 "C" Street
San Rafael, California 94901
Mentor Artist Julia James explored masks with the first graders at Mary Silveira School:
“The students and I began by looking at original masks from West Africa and Indonesia. Students observed the similarities and differences and as a class we shared and made connections to traditions in cultures around the world. We then designed a mask together, as I drew and the students called out suggestions, using shapes incorporating symmetry. Symmetry was explained as what is on one side of a face is repeated on the opposite.”
Students then created their personal mask beginning with pencil line and then adding vibrant colors with soft oil pastels.
Step two: Adding color with soft oil pastels, considering design: "What colors do I want to use?"
Careful coloring, and Reflecting on Patterns
Almost finished with coloring: What are complementary colors? How do different colors look when placed next to each other?
Step three: Cutting out the Mask: Careful around the ears!
Step four: Strategic cutting and taping makes the mask "POP" into three dimensions
And the finished Artwork: One project, infinite interpretations.
This lesson is wonderful in that it highlights many art standards and compliments the social studies unit on cultures and family traditions.