Masking Native American Legends


Students will research Native American legends & incorporate the images they imagine from these stories. These images are then transformed into a facial mask design, first on paper. Then, students take their designed images & form a human mask using clay modeling techniques. Images from the researched legends are then carved, added on or drawn into the clay surface. Once air dried & fired students then add colorful glazes. If time permits the students can write a reflective story or poem.


This unit blends with the seventh grade social studies curriculum. They learn how to use the computer to research the legends & how to find photos that would aid them with developing visual content. They, more importantly, learn by hands on methods that content of various curriculum, like English Language Skills, Social Studies, Technology & the Arts can be intermingled to enhace their understanding of a culture. They will learn various art techniques & how art applies to other subject areas.


-Native American legend web sites – Use of the computer lab – paper, pencils – clay & a variety of clay tools – ceramic glazes – kiln

Other Information

I have tried this unit in the past with my seventh grade art classes. I would like to expand it into a culminating language arts unit working with the students\’ English teachers. This will be a challenge because I do not teach art to the entire seventh grade. I have about 2/3 of the seventh grade. I would also have to enlsit the English teachers or at least get their advise on how to tie the unit that already incorporates the Social Studies component, into a meaningful language arts experie

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