I would not have become an elementary school teacher if I did not like making crafts. After all, that is half the fun! I like all kinds of crafts. I like it when we make bird feeders, decorate necklaces, paint, draw, and work with clay. My favorite activity, however, is when we make our own paper masks. Making a paper mask is something that I have loved to do since I was very little, and will probably continue to love to do until I am very old. We usually start off with paper plate masks. These are the easiest kind of paper mask to make, and are a lot of fun. Basically, all you need is a paper plate, some scissors, a bit of string, and crayons to color. Then you make your paper masks by cutting two holes to see from, and then decorating the whole thing however you want. You can stick with crayons, or you can add feathers, glitter, or anything else you can think of. Then you tie a string to the back to hold it on to your head, and you're done! It is as easy as that to make a paper plate mask. Later on in the year, as an extra special treat around springtime, we make paper animal masks. These paper masks are quite a bit harder than the paper plate masks we started with. Basically, we use papier mache masks. A paper animal mask starts out with a balloon. You make these paper masks by building layer upon layer of papier mache over the balloon. Once you have done all of that, you pop the balloon and the mask is left over. You can then add any details you wish on to your paper masks. You can add facial features such as eyes, nose, and mouth. You can make them as big or small, as realistic or as bizarre as you want. Usually, I leave a lot of it up to the children. I help them make their paper masks, but I do not try to control what how they make them. Of course, if the class is particularly excited about paper masks, I will do one more lesson. In this one, they are allowed to use any of the styles of paper mask that we have done that year. They can pick and choose different techniques, or even come up with their own. I simply am there to watch and give advice. I think this is the kid's favorite part.
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