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Aboriginal Mask

Connect with an ancient culture with Model Magic masks! Discover what role masks played in Aboriginal life, and apply their distinctive artistic style to make a unique creation.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Aboriginal masks were used for a variety of ceremonies, rituals, dances, and to honor ancient spirits in the culture. Have students examine traditional Aboriginal masks. How are they decorated? What shapes do you recognize? Do the shapes, colors, and designs have special meanings to the Aboriginal people?
    2. Students design their own Aboriginal mask creation! Cover a blank mask armature or paper plate cut into a mask shape with a thin layer of Crayola Model Magic®. Be sure to tightly cover any unused Model Magic to prevent it from drying out.
    3. Students decorate their mask using Model Magic! Flatten a small amount of Model Magic on a hard surface, like a table. Firmly press into the Model Magic using Crayola Marker cap. Remove the Model Magic from the cap and shape it into a small ball. Using the Crayola Marker cap as a measure helps keep the dots in a uniform size. Gently press onto the mask. Model Magic that is fresh from the pack will stick to itself. Dried pieces can be glued together.
    4. Students experiment with different Model Magic shapes. What shapes work best for the facial features you want to create? Learn how to blend and swirl the Model Magic colors to create interesting effects?
    5. Be creative! Embellish the mask by layering dots, weaving braids, and molding unique 3D forms!
  • Standards

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Summarize a written text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    LA: Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, using formal English when appropriate to task and situation.

    MATH: Compose two-dimensional shapes or three-dimensional shapes.

    SCI: Ask questions about the natural and human-built worlds.

    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: Describe how people create places that reflect ideas, personality, culture, and wants and needs as they design homes, playgrounds, classrooms, and the like.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

    VA: Know that the visual arts have both a history and specific relationship to various cultures.

    VA: Identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum.

  • Adaptations

    Student groups work collaboratively to write a skit/play which incorporates each student and mask. Skit is to be processed and presented to the teacher for review prior to performance. The group performance can be video-taped and uploaded to a classroom computer for viewing. The viewing can be done as a whole class activity, or set as a center/station in the classroom for individual/group viewing and critique. Student-teacher rubric can be used for evaluation.

    Students, individually or in groups, can research other cultures who use masks and/or body art for cultural celebrations. Students can report on their research through use of a PowerPoint presentation. These can be uploaded to a classroom computer for individual, group, or whole class viewing. Students may also create masks from other cultures and join in a group discussion of similarities/differences between the artwork from the two cultures.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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