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African Masks

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I had my 5th grade students create African masks from milk jugs. It was a great way to show them how to recycle materials and help our planet. I do a lot of recycle projects with all my students.


I cut the jugs in half and we use kraft paper, which cuts the amount of layers in half from 7 with newspaper, to 3 with the brown kraft paper. They seem to be a lot sturdier. We use acrylic paint and I hand out images of African animals for students to refer to as they trace out the animal after the mache dries with a pencil and then felt tip marker. We attach yarn to display them later. For animals with horns or anything that protrudes, we use toilet paper rolls or cereal boxes and tape them on with masking tape. They are on display now at our administration building.

Source: Shared idea from fellow art teachers.

By Marlena from Kalamazoo, MI

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June 23, 20090 found this helpful

Well done to your class, they have done a great job. I love the masks.

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April 15, 20160 found this helpful

beautiful, unique masks. Good job :)

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June 24, 20090 found this helpful

Good job would make great Halloween masks.

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June 25, 20090 found this helpful

Just wanted to tell what a wonderful idea I think this is...kudos to your classes for their great imaginations...

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June 25, 20091 found this helpful

Wonderful creations. I have used them with my fifth graders also using masking tape. You cover the cut jug with small pieces of the tape and then use brown shoe polish over it. It gives it a "woody" look. They add raffia for hair and tin foil for the eyes to look much like the woodland masks of long ago.


Thanks for sharing your idea!

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