Post-Visit Activity #1: Symmetrical Name Collage
Post-Activities: #1 | #2 | #3 | #4


construction paper (fadeless paper will preserve the students' artwork)
markers, map colors, or crayons

Activity - This is a project which results in a beautiful design not unlike some of the masks you saw at the Museum. The example is the name Lisa. Click on the image to see larger version.

  1. Begin by selecting five sheets of 12” x18” construction paper in different, coordinating colors. Think of the colors that were used on some of the masks at the museum: reds, oranges, black, golds – colors like those made from natural pigments.
  2. Take the first piece of construction paper and fold it in half (lengthwise) (it should be 6” x18” when folded). Write your name in cursive along the fold with the top of the letters pointing away from the fold. Try to make large, interesting loops or angles, and also leave about two inches of room at the ends for future layers (see following directions).
  3. Trace around the original writing, outlining it about 1/4 ” outside the letters and 1/4” inside the letters that have interior loops, such as “e” and “a”.
  4. Now, cut out your name with scissors along the second wider outlines. You may need to use the point of the scissors to get inside letters such as “b” and “p” that have narrow loops. Keep the paper folded as you cut.
  5. Unfold the paper and see the attractive design you have made. What kind of symmetry does it represent? Turn it pencil-side down and glue it to the center of the second piece of paper.
  6. Again, cut about 1/4” outside the outlines. Get inside the loops if you have space. You are building layered complexity in your symmetrical college. Continue cutting through four pieces of construction paper, leaving the final piece as the background.
  7. Mat and display your collage vertically – it is an intriguing study in symmetry that also shows a layered technique similar to the Mola embroideries of South America. To find out more about Molas, visit

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