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Nicole Verret

10/28/2015

LEI 4724

Masks
Citation Source: Darley, S. and Heath W. (2008). The expressive arts activity book. Philadelphia,
PA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Equipment Needed: colored paper construction or scrapbook, scissors, pencil and colored
pencil, markers, glue, yarn or elastic string, stickers, glitter, paper ribbon, or collage materials
from magazines
Activity Description: This activity is designed for groups or individuals, and can be done in
small or large groups. In this activity, participants will be asked to create their own masks.
Provide the participants with the materials (enough that they will not have to share beyond the
table they are working at), and encourage them to create their own masks, however they like.
Most participants will not need additional direction beyond this, as this is a task most people
have done before, as a child. At the end of the session encourage the participants to share their
masks, and encourage the group to discuss the metaphor of a mask wearing another persona,
and what different types of masks are used for (i.e. face mask is for protection ceremonial mask
is used to portray someone else). Encourage the participants to give their mask a voice.
Leadership Considerations: This activity is designed to explore sensory and emotional
domains, and encourages the participants to socialize with others within their smaller groups
(table settings). The leader will want to be supportive but allow the participants to guide their
creations it is best to not suggest anything, but rather reflect non-technical questions (Should I
add feathers?) back to the participants. For technical questions (i.e. how do I attach the string to
my mask) provide guidance, or encourage mentorship roles with clients who have finished or
have a particular skill set that they may be willing to share.
Adaptations: Some possible adaptations for this are for younger participants or those with
cognitive deficits who may find a blank round mask difficult to work with, offer store bought
masks, where the form is pre-defined. This can provide structure needed to make the task seem
less intimidating. For participants who had difficulty with manual dexterity, provide adaptive
equipment, pre-cut materials, or offer this as a partner activity either with staff, volunteers or
peers. Additionally, if that is too difficult, offer a wide variety of pre-made masks and have the
group pick masks for each person and share as a group each individuals perception of the mask
they picked (questions such as Who am I? What do I sound like? Whats my story?).