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Greek Mask Making Workshop
Junior Schools
Years 3 – 5

This project covers:
QCA Year 5/6
Unit 14: Who were the Ancient Greeks?
Unit 6B: What a performance!

In an Ancient Greek mask workshop, DNA covers two skills areas: designing and crafting masks, and performing and devising mask theatre. With young children, the masks are made using strong takeaway bags as a basic structure on which to papier-mache and collage. For older children, a gum strip technique is used, building a framework around a head and face and strengthening it with paper, making a unique and individually fitting mask.

Greek myths that work particularly well are:

· The Twelve Labours of Hercules
· The story of Persephone and Demeter and the Seasons
· Theseus and the Minotaur
· Gods and Goddesses

To complement the Greek mask theatre residency, a whole range of activities can be included around the mask making. These include making tokens for the theatre audience, making clay plates, deciphering the Greek alphabet and designing and making shields.

Working with Greek theatre masks covers many curriculum targets including:

· P.E.: Story-telling with movement
· Design Technology: designing and making the masks, costume and props
· Maths: numeracy, mazes, labyrinths: measures
· Season wheel: time
· Literacy: drama & role play; hot-seating characters from myths; sequencing events / story boards
· Art: 3D mask making; collage; painting;
· Music: percussion instruments incorporated into performance
· Geography: story/journey maps

The residency covers the following learning objectives:

· To learn about the role of theatre in the way of life of the Greeks
· To structure work in the form of a play

Learning outcomes include:

· To recognise the main features of a Greek theatre
· Understand the religious connections between theatre and religious festivals
· Find out the sorts of plays the Greeks liked and who wrote them
· Contribute to the preparation and performance of a play that demonstrates the key features of Greek drama

DNA can provide two-day or week-long residencies:

· Two-day sessions: One class of 30 children is spilt into two groups of 15, working over two days. Each group spends half a day making and half a day performing.
· Week-long residency: For a larger year group (2 classes, 60 children). Four groups of 15 children work throughout the week, culminating in a performance day on the Friday.

All materials are supplied.

Year 3 responses from Whitefield Primary School, Preston

“I liked putting on the play”

“I felt nervous”

“I liked the gum strip on my head”

“When I was on stage, I felt good”

“I liked the costumes”

“I didn’t know Greek masks had big mouths and eyes”

“It felt cool”.

Booking Details

Ages Suitable for ages 7 upwards.
Running time 2-day or 1-week residency. See above for details.
Suitable venues schools
Availability by request.
All text and images © Dynamic New Animation 2002