Name of Project: Masks for World Culture Day
Age or Grade Level: First grade
Teaching Artist: Brandie Zaspel
School, teacher(s): Jackson Elementary School, Judith Kerrigan-Krodel, Michelle Gholl
Grade or age:  1st grade

Overview of Project
In preparation for World Cultures Day, the students create masks inspired by Liberian culture. They use oil pastels, paper, and beads to create the masks and cut paper shapes from the geometry lessons the students are currently learning in Math class. 

Masks are used in a many cultures to hide or disguise a person’s identity or assume a new identity temporarily. They are used in festivals, story telling, religious or social occasions (such as funary masks, rights of passage, etc).  Using  the Liberian masks and masks from other cultures, talk about the role of the mask in various cultures.

“Big Ideas”/ Essential Question(s)
1. Cultural connection – How are cultures similar? How and why are masks used in different cultures and here in the US (Halloween)?
2. What are masks used for?
3. Teaching asymmetry vs. symmetry - What is the difference between symmetry and asymmetry? When do we use math when making art?
Student Outcome Objectives
1. Students will use geometric shapes and line to create a mask that both matches their persona and celebrates Liberian culture.
2.  Students will make choices throughout the maskmaking experience to create an individualized mask.
3. Students will learn about Liberian culture (in preparation for World Cultures Day) through this project.  
Prior Knowledge
Gluing, cut paper, and collage, and geometry shapes
Lesson Preparation Timeline: 

  • Acquire needed supplies and make an example mask or two to show the students.

  • Cut strips of paper in all colors for each table for students to use for geometric shapes

Examples of Artwork
Two dissimilar examples of masks made in the materials prepared for the project.

Example(s) of Liberian masks.

Information on the mask in Liberian culture. 

Small discussion at the end of the lesson to talk about what students learned through this project (ask questions “What did you really like about this? What was a challenge?) 
Neutral toned charcoal paper 90 lb  (For masks ) 
Colored fadeless construction paper  - high quality and saturated hues ( for decorative applications)
Glue stick
Oil Pastels

Learning Activities and Timing
1. Bring student to circle. Give a short presentation that shows mask examples ( liberian and handmake examplars)  and present goals and objectives of the project. Raise questions: Why do cultures use masks? When do we wear masks?
2. Demonstrate artful decision making and choices through cutting and glueing demonstration. Remind students of goals and objectives of the maskmaking project.
4. Let the students dig into creating the masks while assisting individuals in the process.
5. Sign mask on the back.  
6. Discussion at the end of the lesson about what students learned. What shapes did they use, where and why? What identity did they create? Why? How did their design choices reinforce that identity? 
7. Clean up

Display pieces in classroom/hallways during World Cultures Day