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They Put On Masks Lesson Plan

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Lesson Plan #:AELP-ARH0007
Author: Darlene Prina
School or Affiliation: Arapahoe School, Fremont City, WY Date: 1994

Grade Level(s): Kindergarten,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8


  • Arts/History

Overview: Mask making is an activity which can be utilized in higher learning and disseminating knowledge of art history. Students learn the reverence of mask making from several cultures, besides their own. Students experience the cooperative learning spirit.

Purpose: Students gain a greater perspective of other traditions and beliefs. They gain experience in exploring several medias. Students also work together, learn to share and care.


1. Students cooperate with each other.
2. Students learn to manipulate a variety of media.
3. Students explore other traditions of several cultures.
4. Students increase creativity by making something new and different.
5. Students will this increase feelings of self-worth.


Slides of Native American art
Expert or mask-making artist in nearby area
Literature regarding African or any other culture that celebrates with masks
Plaster of paris
Paris craft plaster strips
Buckets and warm water
Rafia acrylic paint, brushes, glass medium
Sculpty mold compound
Beans and peas
Scissors, paper, markers, Vaseline, pantyhose
Drop cloths and plastic


1. View and discuss a slide presentation of Native American art.
2. Explore African mask-making viewing pictures.
3. Attend a demonstration by community mask-maker, viewing a variety of masks made nationally and usage of masks in ceremonies.
4. Create a preliminary picture of mask.
5. Attend a demonstration of mask-making procedure.
6. Cut and prepare for making masks.
7. Make masks.
8. Decorate masks.
9. Display and/or create skit so school may view.

Tying It All Together: Students’ critique: What design principles and elements have I used? What do I especially like and what will I do differently next time? Students display masks with a special name and stories of purpose, or students create a skit for other selected grades to observe, after which masks are displayed.