Starting from 3rd grade on, students in California begin to learn about the various American Indian tribes as well as the pre-Columbian peoples who had settled in our state before the European explorers arrived. They learn not only the geographical, political and economical aspects of the native Americans, but also the social and cultural lives too. To reinforce what they learn and to encourage their creativity, I\’d have the students create their own native American mask using clay.
My students will learn how to work with clay slabs, just as some native Americans did. They will select a particular tribe, then create and build their masks by adding any symbols, materials, and decorations that their particular tribe used, while learning why these elements are important to that society. By both studying the different types of masks, then creating their own, my students will experience a little of how the early natives interacted with nature and their environment.
Clay, clay tools, glazes, kiln, books and pictures of North American Indians, other \”tools\” such as straws, toothpicks, pine cones, etc. to add texture and decorations to the masks.
As an Art Teacher, I work very closely with my classroom teachers so that I can incorporate art projects that would reinforce what students are studying in their core curriculum, whether it be social studies, math, language arts or science.by