I have enjoyed working with this mask project and intend now to repeat this unit with the next group coming through, adapting instruction and controlling again the purpose for the mask making. I was away one session when the children were decorating and the relief teacher let them rush ahead, so some of the original good design was messed up and had to be re-done.
Some of the Students felt out of their comfort zone. I noticed when the pictures from the newspaper were on display they simply did not want to engage and preferred the brainstorm idea of words on the board. Perhaps it was a way of dealing with reality and they were ‘over’ seeing the broken images from our local area. (Referring to the New Zealand earthquake. See this page for more on their situation and their maskmaking.)
The shakes have kept on and on and nerves are frayed at the edges and the initial excitement of what has happened has become dulled. The Students have learned that they can’t flick to another channel and this is a real ‘disaster’ not one from history that they have read about or researched, but one they are part of and have to learn that adults and objects are affected in different ways. A reality lesson from the words ‘Out of the darkness.’
Mask Unit Plan By Natalie Johnston
Grade Level: Year 8
Duration: 5 sessions
Masks - The earthquake factor
Visual representation of a personal response to trauma through the medium of masks.
To use a mask form to create an image reflecting the recent trauma
Based upon strands
PK - To use the skills and appropriate methods of joining in construction
Explore design with a variety of media
Select and use of appropriate tools.
CI - Describe how the media influenced design and outcome, personal reflections about what has happened and how this may be portrayed
Discuss possibilities and interaction of media and technology-use of camera to record what happened.
Use of computer recording data of the quake.
UC - Investigate the purposes of recording objects and images of past and present earthquakes in New Zealand - the human factor, the scientific factor, the artistic factor.
DI - Design, create and decorate a mask that reflect emotions, events and objects that the earthquake memories evoke.
Problem solving, self management, physical dexterity, numeracy
Introduction - what a mask is, materials made from, types of masks, and possible uses
Listen to a short passage about an earthquake, look at visual images from an earthquake disaster, brainstorm words, design, re-create a series of images in workbook, select one and draw up on large paper expected visual outcome. Consider emotive words and ideas, characteristics of line - look at other art elements of colour, texture, form and space – how they will relate to this creation.
* Paper card is thin, bendy card or a costless alternative is recycled “cereal box card” (just the perfect weight for making animal ears, noses, etc, not too heavy, not too light).
The use of tools and media to make the mask using papier mache and card.
Build up the image on the mask form, review the original design, cut out eye spaces and mouth.
Decorate the dried mask.
Paint, sand, tissue any other media
Observe the masks that have been made, and assess as to whether they tell a message about the quake
Write a paragraph that sums up the mask quake creation.
What it represented for each student. Take final photograph.
Maskmagical..."We Are Here" Maps & Masks - This page shows Port Chalmers Primary School, Dunedin NZ students and parents on parade with their masks... on the road to building a 'map' of their community at the local park.