Mexican Masks

Mexican Masks lesson plan

Explore the native Huichol social-cultural system and create replicas of beaded Huichol masks.

  • 1.

    EInvite students to explore electronic and traditional resources to investigate the Huichol culture in Mexico. Research the shape and design of traditional Huichol masks. Share information about Huichol customs, contemporary spiritual practices, and mask designs with classmates and teachers.

  • 2.

    When research component of the lesson is complete, encourage students to use their knowledge of the Huichol culture to create traditional masks. Students begin by molding Crayola® Model Magic® into a replica of a traditional Huichol mask. Crayola Scissors can cut eye and mouth holes. Shape and trim the modeling compound with craft sticks.

  • 3.

    Students design mask patterns with Crayola Washable Markers, using a stippling technique of individual dots to imitate glass beads. Encourage students to make designs bright and symmetric by gently pressing washable markers into Model Magic. Add finishing touches after masks dry 24 hours.

  • 4.

    Invite students to organize an event where they can showcase their learning about Mexico and the Huichol culture. Encourage students to wear their masks at some point during the event.

Standards

  • LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
  • LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
  • LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.
  • SS: Give examples of and explain group and institutional influences such as religious beliefs, laws, and peer pressure, on people, events, and elements of culture.
  • SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.
  • VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.
  • VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.
  • VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.
  • VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

Adaptations

  • Possible classroom resources include: The Shaman's Mirror: Visionary Art of the Huichol by Hope McLean; The Journey of Tunuri and the Blue Deer: A Huichol Indian Story by James Endredy; The Shamanic Wisdom of the Huichol: Medicine Teachings for Modern Times by Tom Soloway Pinkson
  • In place of stippling dots, students can use small beads similar to those embedded by Huichol mask makers. Another possibility is to roll small bits of Crayola Model Magis into beads, then embed them into a damp mask.
  • Research other mask-making cultures and design representative masks. Compare the designs and cultural significance of the masks. If possible, display masks and research summaries in a school gallery.