In the Classroom: Cherokee Masks

Anne Phillips subbed for a 4th grade class at Burnsville Elementary School. Students had been studying the Cherokee in Social Studies. She divided the class into the seven Cherokee clans: Paint, Blue, Wild Potato, Bird, Long Hair, Wolf, and Deer. She had researched the clans and brought examples of each clan’s mask. She gave each group information on their clan (including their clan color) and they made their own clan masks.

 Each student got a piece of tag board that they used to cut their mask from. They sketched their mask and used paint in their clan color to decorate it. She showed students how to cut the tag board to transform their 2-D paintings into 3-D masks.

 Some clans added hair, feathers and ears to their masks as well.

Some students were initially disappointed at being “stuck” in the Wild Potato Clan or the Paint Clan were excited once they read some of the cool facts and important roles regarding their clan.

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Penland School of Crafts
NC Arts Council
Community Foundation of Western NC

Teaching Artists

Anne Phillips
Pat Benard

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