SchoolArts Magazine

October 2018

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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• Approaches but d oes not mee t standard: I c onsidered each q uestion, reflected o n two to three, and a ddressed two. • D oes not meet stan- dard: I considered some of the ques- t ions, reflected on n one to one, and a ddressed none to one. Making a Plaster Gauze Mask Once students have completed their reflec- tions, the process of c reating the masks will vary depending on age/ developmental level of students, materials available, and number of days set aside to complete the unit. The following sequence is suggested: 1. Do a demo. It is h elpful for students t o s ee you applying a mas k t o someone. Ask thei r h omeroom teacher, th e p rincipal, or a student v olunteer. 2. Partner up. I allow students to choose a partner with whom they wish to work through this pro - cess. There are sometimes groups o f three as well—it just takes an additional class period to complete the third mask. 3. Offer options. Not all students are comfortable with the process. A plastic mask is a great alternative to apply the plaster gauze to. 4. Cut gauze into strips. The plaster gauze usually comes in large rolls. Have students cut the gauze into 2 x 4" strips before wetting and a pplying. 5. Cover the mask. Some people use Vaseline; I prefer paper towels— less mess. Apply a sheet over the top of the nose and eyes of the mask and one below the nostrils. a personal voice. Students may respond to these questions on paper, digitally, or in a sketchbook. The responses to the following will help students develop a mask concept: • What in your life do you value the mo st? • What do you spend a lot of your free time doing? • What characteristic does someone you look up to possess? Reflection Assessment Following is a possible rubric that students may use for self-reflection: • Exceeds standard: I considered each question, reflected on each question, addressed it in detail, and added additional information. • Meets standard: I considered each question, reflected on each q uestion, and addressed it. 6. Apply gauze. I teach my students t o apply a large oval around th e f ace first and then fill the are a in, except for the nostrils. Fo r a firmer mask, apply a second layer. 7. K eep track of the masks. Be sur e s tudents write their names an d r oom number inside the mas k with a pencil. Pens and water- based markers don't work well b ecause of the moisture. 8. Paint the masks. When the plaster has dried, color can be added with acrylic paint. 9. Choose a space for display. Stu- dents can do a gallery walk an d c ritique with a partner befor e c hoosing their space. Inspiration from Expression Using the mask as inspiration can provide for rich and mean- ingful exploration, learning, and a rt-making. Allowing students to research masks from around the world and apply what they find to a personal expression gives students the power to create something connected to them as artists and humans. Let your students control the process as you facilitate the experiences and watch personal mask expressions come to life. Bob Reeker is a K– 5 visual art and creative computing specialist at Elliott Elementary School in Lincoln, Nebraska. breeker@lps.org N A T I O N A L S T A N D A R D Connecting: Relating artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and exter- nal context. W E B L I N K S www.arteducators.org/learn-tools/ national-visual-arts-standards masksoftheworld.com Encourage students to express themselves and their own culture through mask creation. Right: Flower plaster mask, grade five. SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 47

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