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Tribal Masks Art Project for Fourth Grade

This lesson is adapted from a lesson in Dynamic Art Projects for Children by Denise Logan. It’s a great book filled with exciting and doable lessons for elementary kids.

I have used many and reserve the Tribal Mask project for my upper grade students. Fourth grade students loved this lesson and I’m sure older children would as well.

Tip:
The lesson as I’ve done here, might not be as successful for younger kids.

SUPPLIES:
– Markers
– Black tempera paint
– Styrofoam
– Wooden dowel or pencil
– Feathers, beans
– Glue
– Tissue paper
– Liquid starch

INSTRUCTIONS:
To begin with, I photocopy the handout Denise includes in her book.

Tip: Anytime you can pass around a handout, it makes the project all the more accessible. Just make sure the handout has several ideas, or sketches. You don’t want to limit the imagination of the kids.

With a marker, begin drawing a tribal mask. Try not to start with a pencil. It’ll take forever especially with fourth grade perfectionists!

After drawing the basic shapes, the mask should look like a coloring book drawing. Black and white with lots of shapes.

Drawing the Tribal Masks

 

Next color in smaller sections, adding details to enhance the mask. I use Crayola markers and hand out a tray to each table to share.

 

Coloring the tribal masks

 

For the large areas, we use tissue paper and liquid starch. Place a piece of tissue paper over a shape in the mask (horns, mouth, head piece, etc.) and trace the shape with a pencil. Then cut out tissue paper. This is tricky so make sure to tell the kids that it’s okay to get frustrated!

Using liquid starch, brush the liquid onto the shape on the white paper then set the cut-out tissue paper on top. The tissue paper should lie nice and flat but if it doesn’t, run the brush over it to smooth any wrinkles away.

 

Stamping the tribal masks

 

To add decorative details around the perimeter of the paper, I place a tray of Styrofoam on everyone’s table. I pre-cut the Styrofoam into 2″ squares. Then, using wooden dowels or dull pencils, draw motifs or designs into the foam. Brush with black tempera paint and place stamp along the border of the paper

 

Stamp tools for the tribal masks project

 

For a finishing touch, place a tray of white and black beans and feathers on the tables. If they chose to, the kids can add these details using regular school glue.

 

Beans and feathers for the tribal masks

 

Overall, this lesson took us 4 @ 45-minute class times to finish.

 

FOURTH GRADE TRIBAL MASKS 

Tribal Masks Art Lesson Gallery

 

What do you think?

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  • Jessica

    Instead of spraying them with dye like the book suggested, I used a tempera paint and water mixture. Turned out GREAT!!

    The kids really loved this lesson!

  • Esther

    This week I´ve done African Masks with my 5-6 years old, and they make a great job, we work with colour feathers, ropes, and different materials to decorate them.
    You can check here http://artecontusmanitas.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/mascaras-africanas-para-ninos/

  • Betty

    I was looking for something to begin the period in history following the fall of the Greek Golden Age ( Western Europe, Ireland, Roman Empire, Africa, Iraq, Saudia Arabia and Middle East)…these mark will be a fun way to start art with cultural influence during this time.
    Still looking for simple Illuninared letters (Monks and Nuns), and traders, Africa Kingdoms and tribes.)
    Having catagories to choose from is wonderful!

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