Monday, June 1, 2015

Paper Masks

3rd grade artists created paper sculptures recently, experimenting with different ways of manipulating paper, a 2D material, to transform it into 3D forms and shapes. They then used this experience to create paper masks, utilizing some of the 3D paper techniques they learned.

First, we discussed masks and when one might wear a mask. Students shared that they had worn masks for Halloween, costume or masquerade parties, and for sports. Then students looked at a variety of masks from different tribes and countries in Africa.
We learned that many African masks are created to be worn in ceremonies and events and many have a spiritual meaning for the tribe. Often symmetrical in design, some of the designs combine animal and human characteristics. They are made of wood, metal or pottery and decorated with materials such as animal hair, straw, horns, feathers and shells.

We then began making our own masks. Beginning with the mask's shape, students folded their paper in half to create a symmetrical shape. They then added details, such as eyes, noses, hair, mouths, etc. Students used some of the techniques they had explored the previous class to bend, fold, twist and curl the paper to make it pop and stand up.
Some students made their masks to be worn, while others kept them more decorative. 
Here are some examples of our paper masks! Some of them are currently on display in the connector hallway for the Extravaganza.


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