In 2009 the Disney musical, The Lion King, came to San Diego and the dance teacher at my school asked me if I wanted to take my art students with her class to watch the Broadway show. Of course I did! So I quickly came up with a lesson plan to justify our field trip. Disney actually has a great education website with teacher lesson plans and a DVD behind the scenes to help prepare your students before they watch he musical. The DVD is so fascinating and shows all aspects of the production from costumes and masks, stage design, lighting, choreography, etc. My students really enjoyed watching the clips and they completed a study guide about what they learned. This was also great for the kids that couldn't come watch the musical in person because they still felt included. The musical was fantastic!!! The costumes were amazing and of course the music is wonderful. My students LOVED it and was definitely the highlight of the year.
After watching the musical my students constructed their own masks inspired by The Lion King. I let the kids choose to work in a group or by themselves. They also had the option of recreating a character from The Lion King or making another African animal. Students drew rough draft sketches to plan their design and then built the mask out of cardboard. They paper mached the cardboard, painted a layer of gesso, and then used acrylic paint to finish the mask. The project turned out great and this is hands down one of my favorite lesson plans!
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