Methods Art

The Saturday Morning Workshop

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As part of my teacher-training program in art education I taught a group of nine students for the duration of a semester. I met with the kids for an hour and a half every Saturday morning. They ranged in ages from 5 to 12.

As part of my Methods Art class I prepared weekly lesson plans and narrative accounts about the experience. We were asked to choose a single theme of study for our class. I chose to create a class in mask making.

During the course of the semester I was given a chance to test my ideas about education and learn to reflect upon my experiences.

In my class, I taught about several cultural and social aspects of masks. We examined the purposes for masks in society, how a mask transforms the wearer, our personal feelings about masks, and various forms of masks. We also studied about various cultures associated with mask making. Specifically, we studied about African and Mexican masks and their meanings in these cultures. We also visited the mask collection in the art museum and saw examples of what we had discussed first hand. We talked about our work as a group and I also had the students discuss and write about their experiences.


Here are some of my students showing off their self-introduction masks. This was their first mask and they could create any kind of a mask that communicated something about them. For example, the girl at the far left created the "Purple Bunny Mask" because her favorite color was purple and she had a pet bunny.




Here are pictures taken from our favorite animal mask lesson. Students created the likeness of their favorite animal in paper mache and then decorated their animal with paint.


These are pictures taken from my lesson on Mexican sun masks. We first studied about the importance of the sun to ancient cultures like the Aztecs. I provided examples of pictures of authentic sun masks. Then kids got to form their own sun mask out of clay based on their feelings about the sun.


At the conclusion of this semester long course we held an art show and party so that the kids could display their work for their friends and family to see. As part of our preparation for this show we painted display boxes and wrote descriptions of our masks and their meanings.