Monday, March 8, 2010

African Mask Necklaces

During the month of February I created a few lessons to celebrate Black History Month. These lessons can be done year round. Two lesson I created were connected to the artist Faith Ringgold and her beautiful story quilts. I will post about them later this week, I have to take pictures of the finish product.

The other lesson I wanted to share was African Mask Necklaces. I started the lesson with prints of masks from Africa and other areas and cultures. I posted 6 prints on the black board and covered up the titles with post it's. I then asked the students to start a new page in their art journal and number 1-6. I asked them to create names for the masks. Then we shared their creative names as a class and revealed the "real title" of the mask. The kids seemed to enjoy this.

The masks created were done with 5th graders and made out of model magic. The small individual packs were cut in half and shared between two students. The students were shown a sample that I made. I gave a quick demo on coiling and rolling small balls to make details. Students were asked to make a hole at the top so we could put a string through. Note- we had to re poke many of these holes -partly my fault I did not check them as they were done to see if the hole was big enough. Students used a plastic sowing needle to make the hole.

The masks were left to dry. During the next class students painted the masks. We used sparkle water colors by Prang (love those things!) to paint the entire mask. Then we used metallic tempera paint for details and some black sharpe when that paint was dry. This was a two week lesson (each a 45 minute class). The students put a string in them and were able to wear them by the end of class- the paint dried very quickly.


  1. Those masks are super cool, what a great idea!

  2. I LOVE THESE!!! Model magic is amazing! I might try this with my elementary art students. Thanks for sharing :)

  3. well done on having these published they look great