will design a symmetrical face mask based on symbolic animal images found
in the ancient Mesoamerican ballgame.
animal symbolism found in Mesoamerican Art.
how personification of information and ideas is influenced by social,
cultural, political, and historical events.
to make geometric and organic abstraction from observation. Organize
and use the elements and principles of design.
3-D objects from different perspectives, and congruent plane figures
after transformation: reflection and bilateral symmetry.
figures of two male dancers wearing jaguar masks. From the Veracruz region
of Mexico. A.D 400-600. Mint Museum of Art
connections (Grades 3-5):
Visual Arts Standards (and NC) Grades 3-5:
1: 2.01, Goal 2: 3.03, 3.04, 3.05, 3.08, 3.09, 3.12, Goal 3: 4.01, Goal
4: 5.01, 5.03
Social Studies - Grade 5: 1.1, 2.1, 4.1, 6.1, 12.2
Math - Grade 3:
2.02, 2.04, 3.01
to help identify congruent planes (Print from web site.)
used to make bilateral animal mask (available at this site.) Click on
a template and print the page:
weight paper or Strathmore cover stock in contrasting colors of turquoise/rust;
yellow ochre/rust; or rust/black. Two sheets for each student.
- Hole punch
or string to fit under student's chin
or wooden animal models (see animal symbolism list)
TERMS: personification, zoomorphic, symmetry, bilateral, congruent
TERMS: symbol, ritual, quetzal, macaw, jaguar, howler monkey, maize,
3rd, 4th grades: Three 45 minute sessions
personification in the animal and number head glyphs of Mesoamerican
congruent plane identification using quetzal
bird chart (print from site.)
abstraction into simple organic shapes on overhead projector or board
working from three-dimensional models of jaguar, rabbit, macaw, alligator.
translation of 1/2 frontal drawing to paper that has been folded in
half at center.
- Hand out
mask templates (available from web site) and scissors. Have students
practice bilateral design and cutting two sheets at a time. Animal mask
(print from site.)
how to draw pattern designs on top sheet with it still folded and cut
out these shapes. Have students mimic this in practice on their activity
construction method for simple face mask with 2 sheets of contrasting
- Have students
follow the process in a step by step sequence (make mask, punch holes,
will use the congruent plane chart with the quetzal bird to introduce
the translation of shapes into different perspectives, frontal and profile.
in animal effigy and zoomorphic forms in Mesoamerican art works.
congruent planes, transformation, reflection and bilateral symmetry.
the use of the animal symbolism in the cosmic diagram from the web site.