Mask Making: The Seen and Unseen

Kelley Hund-Shelley, Visual Art, Butler High School

Final Unit(pdf)   Implementing Teaching Standards(pdf)


This curriculum unit explores how mask-making can help students become more aware of their inner and outer theatre, especially regarding the right brain trickster and the left brain analyzer. We will watch the movie “The Mask” and use this movie as a springboard to begin a discussion on inner and outer personalities/theatre. I will use a variety of activities including brainstorming, Venn diagrams, visual thinking skills, and think, pair, share to facilitate recognition of personality traits the student shares versus what they keep hidden from others. This unit will assist young adolescents in gaining an understanding of the hyper-awareness of one’s appearance and the power that can come from understanding this awareness. Guiding students in the process of meaning making, developing personal voice and discussing what story they want to tell with their artwork is a large part of this project. Our goal is that by collaborating with others, sharing, and observing we will respect and honor one another’s individualism and artwork. Awareness of self and the development of personal traits, as well as cognitive development, will assist students in integrating cognitive and emotional memories, and personal traits into their mask.  Tying their mask to their own inner and outer theatre, with various aspects of self, will increase the students’ chance of connecting with their masks.