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Arts & Activities - Page 32

I n the Puerto Rican Carnivale, a traditional figure seen in many parades is the “vejigante,” a clown-like character who wears a colorful mask. My kindergarteners were learning about Carnivale in Spanish class, so making vejgante masks of their own in art class was a great idea—and an opportunity to teach them papier-mâché skills and painting techniques. To start the lesson, we viewed photographs of vejigante masks and discussed the various emotions they conveyed. Some masks are meant to scare the crowd, others make them laugh and nearly all of them amaze people with their elaborate designs. The students Bryan’s mask and observational drawing. NATIONAL ART STANDARDS • • • • Understand and apply media, techniques and processes. Use knowledge of structures and functions. Understand the visual arts in relation to history and cultures. Make connections between visual arts and other disciplines. LEARNING OBJECTIVES Kindergarten students will . • • use papier-mâché to reflect their impressions of vejigante masks. work on their 3-d building skills, as well as their 2-d representation. MATERIALS • • • • • • Plastic face molds and newspaper Papier-mâché strips and water containers tempera paint and paintbrushes hot-glue gun and glue (for teacher use only) sequins, feathers, beads, ribbons, corks, etc. Markers and white drawing paper by Anna Nardulli enjoyed the colorful and eye-catching masks and tried to guess how they were made. Next, each student was given a plastic face mold with his or her name on the back. Plaster papier-mâché strips were placed in the middle of each table and the children each had a small container of water. (Flour and water with newspaper strips could also be used, but the pre-glued papier-mâché is nice for younger artists and dries very strong.) I demonstrated how to wet the papier-mâché strips and use “scissor fingers” to squeeze off extra water before applying them to the face molds. After each strip is applied, it must be rubbed smooth until all the little holes disappear. Anna’s mask and drawing. ! go to and click on this button for links to resources related to this article. 32 At this juncture, the students decided whether to make a wearable mask with eye openings or to cover the eyes, for a decorative mask. On day two, we looked at the mask examples again and discussed how the artists used color and shape to create emotions in the faces. As I passed out the their Natalie’s mask masks, the chiland drawing. dren were amazed at how hard the dried papier-mâché had become were excited to add facial expressions and other details. I demonstrated how to roll the strips into snakes and balls, and manipulate them into eyebrows, lips and eyes. Horns could be made with corks, and many of the students built long horns by stacking the corks on top of each other. As the children worked, I stressed the importance of preparing the surface with that day’s layer of papier-mâché because the next class would be time to paint. When the papier-mâché was dr y, we reviewed warm and cool color families. Students then chose one palette to work with for their first layer of paint, based on the see januar y 2013 • 80 YEARS MASKS on page 42 x

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