Making Masks

I am trying to be quick- even though I am not usually a quick writer! I am on a lunch break from our first day back to school professional development. I am happy because I am with my “tribe.” Our district ESL staff is presenting this PD for all the ESL teachers in our district. Our theme this year is “Portraits.” This will range from self-portraits to portraits of our students, schools, and district. I was so thrilled that I got to lead our ice-breaker activity and do a writing activity from All-Write based on Ralph Fletcher’s poem “The Good Old Days.”

We spent most of the morning in an activity led by an art therapist. She talked briefly about art therapy, then led us in making masks. We drew a 2-D version after seeing several “mentor masks.” Then we crafted 3-D masks using cardboard, chalk and oil pastels. We had so much fun. I am so impressed with a director who would provide such an innovative approach to our PD. We talked about the many ways the activity could be used with our students. Having experienced it ourselves, we will be so much more likely to do it with our students. We understand the process and know some of the challenges students will face. (Does this sound familiar? Of course, I tied in some of the same ideas with the writing activity. The art therapist had even noticed and referenced the writing we had done!)

Anyway, here are some pictures of my mask:



The activity was based on art by Kimmy Cantrell.

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9 Responses to Making Masks

  1. Cool masks! I’m glad you are excited to start your new school year! Have a good one!

  2. Linda Baie says:

    Your mask is wonderful! I’ve done masks with students before, and usually poetry to accompany them. There are lots of great ‘mask’ poems as mentor texts available. Sounds like your writing time went well too. Congrats!

    • newtreemom says:

      I am going to look for the poetry. Another “writing teacher who writes” and I were talking possibilities for writing to go with the masks. So many ideas!

  3. Raivenne says:

    I adore those masks! What an wonderful idea and you got to incorporate writing.

  4. elsie says:

    Now that’s a great way to get the year started! What an artist you are!

  5. arjeha says:

    What a great idea. Love your mask.

  6. Ramona says:

    Beautiful mask! So glad your writing activity went well and that your happy to be back with your tribe. Happy new school year!

  7. that is super cool! and why does your school start so early?!?!

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