Greek Mask Making Workshop
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
· P.E.: Story-telling with movement
· Design Technology: designing and making the masks, costume
· 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
· Find out the sorts of plays the Greeks liked and who wrote
· 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”.
||Suitable for ages 7 upwards.
||2-day or 1-week residency. See above for details.