DESIGNER FACE MASKS – Colour, Shape, Balance

Students pretend they are designers who have to create a face mask that suits their client. They use a questionnaire to find out about their client and base their design on what they have learned. After brainstorming a variety of ideas they use coloured pencils, markers or other media to create a final version of their design. Then they write an artist statement to explain their ideas to their client.

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 4 to Grade 8


Language Arts
Social Studies
Visual Arts


colour contrast shape


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DESIGNER FACE MASKS – Colour, Shape, Balance - Step One

Step One

  1. Use the Designer Face Masks worksheet. (Downloads - DesignerFaceMasks.pdf)
  2. Pretend you are a designer for a mask company.
  3. Work with a partner, or imagine a client.
  4. Fill out the questionnaire to learn about your client.
  5. Brainstorm different ideas on the small templates.
  6. Base your ideas on what you learned about your client.
DESIGNER FACE MASKS – Colour, Shape, Balance - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Choose the design you like the best.
  2. Use coloured pencils, markers or some other medium to colour the mask.
  3. Write an artist statement to explain your design and how it connects to your client.
  4. Present your design to your client.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create a design that communicates ideas about an imaginary client;
  • use colour and shape to balance their design;
  • write an artist statement to explain their design;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity;
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the artworks.


Have students:

  • search the Internet for a pattern to make a cloth face mask;
  • use plain cotton to sew the face mask - or join it with fabric glue;
  • use Crayola fabric markers to draw their design on the mask.


  1. Download and display the Balance poster available on this website.
  2. Teach or review the principle of balance.
    - balance - the arrangement of elements so that they seem equal in weight or importance
  3. Download the Designer Face Masks worksheet and copy enough for each student to have one. (Downloads - DesignerFaceMasks.pdf)
  4. Download the Group inspires Indigenous artists to channel creative energy into face masks article, by Rhiannon Johnson from the CBC website.


  1. Discuss how face masks have become a necessity during Covid-19 and some people have started turning them into a form of self-expression. Have students share their ideas about the following quote:
    Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst covering retail at NPD Group, a market research firm, sees this as a time when masks could move from specialized product to mainstream accessory: “We will see this become a staple item, as well as fashion—even if to mark this as an era to remember.” Once hard to find, he predicts that masks will become staples at retail, coming in fashionable patterns, an array of colors, and even in personalized versions. (Article by Max Berlinger, April 9, 2020, 4:10 AM EDT in
  2. Ask students to share how they feel about wearing face masks and any unique face masks they have worn or seen.
  3. Share the Group inspires Indigenous artists to channel creative energy into face masks article, by Rhiannon Johnson.
  4. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Create a design that communicates ideas about an imaginary client.
  2. Use colour and shape to balance your design.
  3. Write an artist statement to explain your design.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  5. Support your ideas with evidence found in the artworks.

The Process

  1. Ensure that everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - used my own ideas
    - filled out a questionnaire to learn about my client
    - created a design that communicates ideas about my client
    - used contrast to balance the design
    - written an artist statement to explain my design

    - kept the paper in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work.
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Once all the masks are complete display them for a group discussion. 
    Look closely at the designs.
    - Choose one that interests you for some reason.
    - Share thoughts about the work.
  2. During the discussion include references to:
    - ideas – What does the design communicate about the client? How does this match the information in the questionnaire?
    - contrast – How does the use of contrast help to balance the design?  

    - technical accomplishment – How does careful planning and colouring contribute to the overall effectiveness of the design?


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss the designs – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the work, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - DesignerMasks_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students write a reflection that includes things such as:
    - How they decided what to include in their design
    - What they like best about their design.
    - How they feel about the finished work, and why.
    - What they learned about themselves by doing this project.