Sunday, March 28, 2010

Mask making and identity

My 8th graders created masks as a way to explore their identity. They were given pre-made masks (paper forms) that they were then allowed to decorate/enhance /adorn/alter with whatever materials were available or materials they brought in from home. The masks were also hot glued onto a cardboard backing which they were to use as a continuation of their mask. They could leave the backing in a rectangular shape, or they could cut it to reflect the theme of their mask. They were told to think about their interests and aspects of their personality that make them who they are. Just a note, this is hard for some students and they need gentle guidance to help them discover what their likes and dislikes are. There are, of course, many mask images available on the net to help spark students imagination as well.

As an extension to this lesson, the students were required to write a poem about their mask using one of 3 different poetry styles: cinquain, acrostic or haiku. I wanted the students to write poems because as they were working on their masks, I learned things about the students that I otherwise wouldn't have known. Just viewing the finished mask, people may not know what the student's different symbolism and use of material stands for. The poems add another layer of meaning to the masks. I also found that the poetry helped the students themselves better understand what they were trying to accomplish with their masks as well. The students were required to write their final poem in calligraphy. The above picture shows a finished mask with her finished poem, an acrostic which spells BUG. As an interdisciplinary connection, this one is tops!

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