Monday, December 9, 2013

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

AED 501 Mask-Making

“History provides the setting and context for a work of art and helps us understand the artist and the circumstances in which the work was made. Artworks reflect the times and cultures of the people who produced them. Art history provides a kind of timeline that shows how art has developed from early human history to the present. It also shows how artists have been influenced by previous artistic styles, by technology and social change and the like, and how these influences showed up in their artwork….We understand today’s art more fully when we can trace its development through time.”
~Gerald Brommer
Ø  Masks are a universal art form produced by cultures world-wide to fulfill a variety of purposes.
Ø  Students can learn about mask making in various cultures--symbol and function, rites and rituals--and then translate their knowledge into production of their own masks.
What cultural influence did you use as inspiration for your mask?
What were the authentic purposes for the mask in that culture?
What materials did you use in the production to simulate authentic materials?
How were the elements of art used to create the mask and represent the culture?
What did you learn? 
What might you do differently next time?
What did you do best in the process?
Advice for teachers and lesson planning...
#AED501 Masks...

African Spirit Mask

 This is an African spirit mask. The spirit mask was worn during celebrations and ceremonies, which could b for initiations, crop harvesting, war preparation, and peaceful times.  It is believed that the spirit of the ancestor possesses the person who is wearing the mask. I used the card board pre-cut mask, packaging peanuts, colorful strips of tissue rolled up, strips of tissue unrolled and bundled up for the cheeks, and long paper string. I used different 3 dimensional shapes with every part of the face minus the eye brows. A small variety of color was used to decorate the mask here. Next time I would make the mask have more hair :/ I would also paint the face before gluing anything onto it to have a better background color. If I were to do this with my students I would make the masks wearable and let the students have a celebration of a peaceful time.
~Ashley Ankerson 

Theatre Mask 
This is a theatre mask or that was worn for performances for European theatre. The masks were for mystery plays and worn by the principal actors in the drama. The only visible material used in this mask is construction paper of different colors. Form was used to create a 3 dimensional mask. Different colors and shapes were added to the mask by cutting construction paper into many shapes. The cheeks on the mask are swirly and pop out of the face, the nose of the mask pops out as well. At the top of the mask different types of lines were used, straight, diagonal, and zigzag. Contrasting colors of orange and blue were used for the eyes and mouth. When creating this mask I used construction paper, scissors, and glue.
Next time I would make the background color different than white, I think the mask could have had more color. I think I had a good variety of shapes, line, and form on the mask. If I were teaching younger students about mask making I would spend more time on each mask culture and have students be able to create a few different masks.
~Ashley Ankerson
                             Huichol Mask
I was searching for colorful masks and found the masks of the Huichol people in Mexico. Their masks are completely covered with seed beads that have been pressed into beeswax. The beads are used to create symbols such as flowers, snakes, and scorpions. The symbols generally have a religious significance and can be used to communicate with the spirit world or to relay the content of spiritual visions.I created this Huichol-inspired mask from colored paper. This simplified the process, making it easy enough for young children. I think it would be fun to learn more about the authentic beeswax and beads method and try it out on a small project. I experimented with several different versions of the black background form. That is an interesting process—the shaping of the paper form—that would also be fun to explore more in other applications.
The elements of color and shape were the most obvious ways to copy the Huichol mask style. The images are composed of bright beads of all colors and they often appear on a black background. Simplified flowers are common on Huichol masks and there are some variations in the flower shape. The shapes are usually placed on the mask symmetrically, and so I did that here as well.
~Amanda Turn-Shamback
Torres Strait Island Mask
This mask was inspired by those made by the Torres Strait Islanders. These were mostly used for ceremonies that included funerals and rituals intended to increase crops and hunting success. These masks would usually be worn by men who would reenact hero stories during the rituals. Often the masks take a composite human/animal form such as a human face with a bird atop.
The masks were made from wood or turtle shells and the dominant colors were red, yellow, white, and black. Often they have elongated faces and are embellished with trails of painted dots. Feathers, shells, and vegetable fibers also decorate the masks. In place of wood or a turtle shell, my mask is constructed of a painted paperboard mask form. I did use some actual shells for embellishments but also used bits of packing peanuts to simulate more natural materials.
Studying the authentic masks in terms of the elements of art helped me to emulate the style. I used the element of color to replicate this style of mask. It was necessary to uses browns that look like wood. The white lines that were added are dotted and follow the contours of the mask. I substituted raffia for the traditional vegetable fibers because the texture is similar.
I had honestly not heard of the Torres Strait Islander people before beginning this project and searching for interesting masks. I learned something about them. I also enjoyed seeing all the variety in classmates’ masks and learned about many mask-making possibilities.
I am happy with the way the mask turned out. I think that looking at many masks from one culture and finding commonalities worked well. In the future I would like to experiment with some different types of paint. I used tempera and the brown was bleeding through the white even after drying to make it look pink.
~Amanda Turn-Shamback

                           India Peacock Mask

This mask is a peacock made out of tissue paper, the end of a plastic cup, Styrofoam, feathers, and paint. Inspiration for this mask came from the festive parades held in India. Indians will dress up as an animal native to their country to become more at one with nature. The peacock is a revered animal in India for its beauty and grace and is a common mask choice at these festivals and parades. They believe that animal masks can help them be more in touch with nature and let them see life through the eyes of another creature. They also use animal masks for religious purposes, to evoke certain emotions in people, to honor gods, and for medicinal rituals. Their masks are very colorful and are made from mostly natural materials, such as pumpkin hollows, cardboard, and wood.  I used line to decide where to separate the head from the face and the Styrofoam looks like the curved lines around the peacock’s eyes. I have several 3D forms on the mask with the use of the cup end, the feathers, the tissue paper, and the Styrofoam. As far as color goes, I used mostly different values of blues and greens and the beak is a tannish color. The mask has several different textures; the Styrofoam, the tissue paper, the feathers, and the plastic all give different feels. If I were to make this mask again, I would like to have actual peacock feathers to give it a more authentic look. I do like the tissue paper that was scrunched and glued on for that textured effect. As a teacher, this mask making activity could be used in a study for different cultures around the world and how they view animals and nature. ~Ashleigh Evans 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013

Quilting our Way to International Dot Day at USA

International Dot Day, a global celebration of creativity, courage and collaboration, began when teacher Terry Shay introduced his classroom to Peter H. Reynolds’ book The Dot on September 15, 2009.
The Dot is the story of a caring teacher who dares a doubting student to trust in her own abilities by being brave enough to “make her mark”. What begins with a small dot on a piece of paper becomes a breakthrough in confidence and courage, igniting a journey of self-discovery and sharing, which has gone on to inspire countless children and adults around the globe.
Teachers and future teachers in my five graduate & undergraduate art education classes in the College of Education at the University of South Alabama (USA) celebrated creativity, courage, and collaboration as they "made their mark" for International Dot Day
We used 81/2 X 81/2 squares of white copy paper and crayons to "make a mark and see where it takes us"...each square was crumpled and smoothed out multiple times to break down the stiffness of the paper and crayon, creating a fabric-like texture. Of course each artist "signed it!" We then used a hole puncher and yarn to tie the pieces from each artist, and five classes together into our "Dot Quilt." A binding experience!

Peter Reynolds Interview: 

Celebrating 10 years of 'The Dot' with Dedham, Mass. Author

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Interest Driven Learning

I get this. I agree. "Every Kid has an Interest." Big Thinkers who currently help me as an "academic coach" to develop interest-driven learning are at the Centre for the Living Arts, Mobile Museum of Art, and USA Archaeology Museum. "Not only do they have the assets, they can use the tools." We can think...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

I Am Education: Kids Tell All


Nine-year-old Primo can turn just about anything into something beautiful, but he’s limited to expressing his remarkable creativity at home due to his school’s lack of art classes.
In most districts, art and music are the first courses to go when budgets are cut. Today, nearly four million elementary school students receive no visual arts education.

"There are so many better things to do than watch TV and art is one of the best things to do. Maybe you should try art."

More videos at I Am Education: Kids Tell All

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Amy Archer in Spain

So excited for elementary ed major Amy Archer, who's headed to Spain for study abroad this summer! Amy has created a blog so you can follow her adventures:

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Latest 2013 Publications

Visual Arts and Social Studies: Powerful Partners in Promoting Critical Thinking Skills

Arts in Education: Professional Development Integrating the Arts and Collaborating with Schools and Community

Saturday, April 20, 2013

University of South Alabama College of Education Awards Night

Honoring Friends & Colleagues! 
Celebrating Awards and Retirements!

Dr. Abigail Baxter Promoted to Professor
Dr. Joel Lewis Promoted to Associate Professor and Granted Tenure
Dr. Andre Green Promoted to Associate Professor and Granted Tenure
Ms. Jennifer Simpson Promoted to Senior Instructor

Dr. Brooke Forester awarded the Lisa Mitchell Bukstein Foundation Scholarship for Developing Faculty in Education

Excellence in Teaching Awards
Dr. Becky Giles awarded Excellence in Teaching Award for Outstanding Innovation
Dr. R. Burke Johnson awarded Excellence in Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity
Ms. Brenda Haskew and Foley Elementary School awarded Excellence in Clinical Supervision
Dr. Thomas Chilton awarded Distinguished Career Award for Excellence in Teaching

Dean's Awards
Dr. Daniel Surry & Dr. Joel Lewis awarded Distinguished Contributions to Life Long Learning
Dr. Susan Martin awarded Distinguished Contributions for Improving Our Community

Thursday, April 18, 2013

I'm in a Tolstoy Mood

“Music makes me forget my real situation. It transports me into a state which is not my own. Under the influence of music I really seem to feel what I do not feel, to understand what I do not understand, to have powers which I cannot have. Music seems to me to act like yawning or laughter; I have no desire to sleep, but I yawn when I see others yawn; with no reason to laugh, I laugh when I hear others laugh. And music transports me immediately into the condition of soul in which he who wrote the music found himself at that time. ~The Kreutzer Sonata” 
 Leo Tolstoy

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Our Book (chapter) is Out!

Many thanks and congratulations to my friend and co author Susan Santoli, secondary Social Studies professor. I thoroughly enjoyed our collaboration as we developed our invited chapter in Integrative Strategies for the K-12 Social Studies Classroom. Our ideas for Picture This: The Integration of Art and Social Studies were also greatly refined and improved by the skillful editing of Timothy Lintner.

Integrative Strategies for the K-12 Social Studies Classroom

"The crux of this book is to provide educators insights and strategies into how to integrate social studies with other discipline areas. Calling upon national experts in their respective fields, each chapter chronicles the broad relationship between individual content areas and social studies. Multiple examples of integrative opportunities are included. At the end of each chapter is a series of grade-specific integrative lesson plans ready for implementation. This book was purposefully designed as a how-to, hands-on, ready-reference guide for educators at all stages and all levels of teaching."

Foreword. Integrative Opportunities in the Social Studies Classroom: Making Minutes Matter, Timothy Lintner. Picture This: The Integration of Art and Social Studies, Susan Pitts Santoli and Paige Vitulli. The Play’s the Thing: Integrating Drama with Social Studies, Thomas N. Turner. Making Social Studies Accessible and Engaging for English Language Learners, Jason O’Brien and Barbara Cruz. Social Studies and Literacy: Exploring Interdisciplinary Teaching in a Professional Development School Setting, Deborah MacPhee. Interdisciplinary Strategies for Math and Social Studies, Bridget Coleman. Traveling the World Through the Vehicle of Music,Jeannette Fresne and Donna Louk. The Social Side of Science, Andrea Burrows and Jennifer Keiner. Don’t Forget Me! Using Special Educators to Support Interdisciplinary Teaching and Learning, Darren Minarik and Danielle Coughlin. Things Said and Done: Using Digital Tools to Enhance Historical Memory, John K. Lee, Meghan Manfra, and Jonathan List. Visual Literacy Strategies for the Social Studies Classroom, Stewart Waters and William B. Russell, III. About the Contributors.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Kappa Delta Pi 2013 Initiation


International Honor Society in Education
Omicron Zeta Chapter Initiation

College of Education
University of South Alabama
Mobile, Alabama
April 12 2013

CONGRATULATIONS Kappa Delta Pi Initiates
Deidre Benton
Lauren Brannan*
Jonathan Bubbett
Kaitlyn Burgess
Morgan Clark
Ashley Cohen
Erika Conn
Lindsey Edwards
Petre Freeman
Bonnie Gaudet
Owen Gill
Mary Gillespie
Melissa Harrison
Brittany Heiss
Courtney Hieronymus
Jessie Holder
Kimberly Holland
Alexa Howie
Caitlyn Lord
Lauren McKenzie
Mallory Moon
Lanadia Patrick
Kristen Phelps
Emily Pilotte
Eleanor Pomerat
Lucinda Prescott
Sara Pritchard
Amanda Rice
Ariel Robinson
Brittni Sasser
Brittany Smith
Kendra Wesson
Angyl White
Jessica Wilson
Hope Zeanah*

*Lauren Brannan was initiated as an honorary member of KDP in recognition of her achievement as Mobile County 2013 Elementary Teacher of the Year. Lauren received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education and master’s degree in reading education from the USA COE. She is currently enrolled in the USA COE’s instructional design and development program doctoral program.  

*Hope Zeanah was initiated as an honorary member of KDP in recognition of her achievement as 2013 Alabama Principal of the Year. She is Alabama’s nominee for National Distinguished Principal Award. Hope received her administrative certification from the USA COE.

USA COE Students' Inaugural Visit to the USA Archaeology Museum

Students in EDU 301, our Arts in the Elementary School class, were welcomed by Barbara Filion, Education Curator at the USA Archaeology Museum Tuesday, April 9th. After an excellent tour of the facility, Barbara led us in an art/archaeology integrated lesson.


Student responses to the field trip included:

"The Archaeology Museum was fascinating, and Barbara Filion gave us a great tour...I was completely intrigued by the Stratigraphy Wall. I could have spent hours looking at the artifacts in those layers."

"My favorite part about the USA Archaeology Museum was the hands on activity at the end. Much like little children, doing crafts and further exploration of a specific topic really drives home the main concepts, for everyone. The most educational part gained from the trip was all the background history, I had no idea how much of the Museum's history would tie to Mobile's roots."

"I had a wonderful time at the museum! Sometimes we forget about how historical Mobile is. I really enjoyed every part of the museum, and I dont think I can pick just one part."

"I would like to start off by saying that I had no idea that museum was even on the campus. I must admit that I enjoyed the visit overall. The tour guide was extremely educated on her facts about Old Mobile and she really captured my attention and made me want to know more about the city I live in."

"I had to do a double take on the replicas of the people, especially the one in the colonial exhibit."

"I've never been to an archaeology museum before, and I must say it was a very interesting experience. The tour guide/storyteller did an amazing job telling the stories and history of Mobile. My favorite part of the museum would have to be the wax models, especially the indian chief walking up the mound. The artists did a fabulous job creating all the intricate details on the statues to make them so realistic."

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Good News for the COE

Quantitatively, qualitatively, and affectively, I know that people I work with at the University of South Alabama College of Education sincerely care about the education and quality of life of the students they interact with. From K-12 to higher education issues, we are caring, thoughtful people who share our talents in diverse ways while simultaneously navigating our own complex lives. This notice does not surprise me and is well-derserved. THANK YOU to those of you who did so much to provide evidence of the collective good works we each strive to provide daily.

Message from Dean Richard Hayes:

"I am pleased to share with you that the recommendation of the NCATE and ALSDE on-site reviewers will be that the COE has met all six standards at both the initial and advanced levels. Although the recommendations are preliminary and yet to be presented in detail to the NCATE Board for review, we can be very proud of the progress we have made and of the overall quality of our programs. Congratulations and thanks to all of you who made this outcome possible. "

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

2012-2013 USA College of Education Student Awards

USA College of Education 
Student Awards

Awards will be presented Friday, April 26th at the Mitchell Center Waterman Globe lobby. 


Outstanding Undergraduate Student
Elementary Education

Outstanding Graduate Student
Elementary Education

Outstanding Undergraduate Student
Secondary Education

Outstanding Graduate Student
Secondary Education

Outstanding Graduate Student
Early Childhood Education

Outstanding “A” Certification Student
Educational Leadership

Outstanding Graduate Student
Educational Leadership

Outstanding Educational Specialist Project

Outstanding Student Teacher
Elementary Education

Outstanding Student Teacher
Elementary Education

Outstanding Student Teacher
Secondary Education

Outstanding Graduate Student Teacher
Secondary Education

Outstanding Graduate Student
Special Education

Cronis Award
Special Education


      Outstanding Graduate Student
       Health and Physical Education
Outstanding Undergraduate Student
Leisure Studies/Recreation Administration

Outstanding Undergraduate Student
Health and Physical Education/Teacher Education

Outstanding Undergraduate Student
Health and Physical Education/Exercise Science


Outstanding Graduate Student
Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program

Outstanding Graduate Student
School Counseling Program

Outstanding Graduate Student
Educational Media Program (M.Ed.)

Dr. John E. Morrow, Sr. Memorial Award
Master’s Student of the Year
Instructional Design and Development Program

Dr. Chandru Hiremath Memorial Award
Ph.D. Student of the Year
Instructional Design and Development Program

Scholarship Recipients for 2012 - 2013

Kimberly Holland - College of Education Scholarship
Kathryn Ortmann - Daniel Foundation of Alabama Scholarship
Hannah Cooper - Alfred F. Delchamps, Sr. Memorial Scholarship
Tresher Moorer - J. Howe Hadley Scholarship
Jessica Wilson - Helping Hands for Children Scholarship
Cody Coleman - Malcolm R. Howell Endowed Scholarship
Erin Holton - Ralph Jones Memorial Scholarship
Ashley Cohen - Patricia Kelly Lofton Endowed Scholarship for Teachers
Carrie Tucker - Dr. Elizabeth F. Martin and Dr. Wilma M. Scrivner Scholarship
Lindsey Estes - Ruth M. Gwinn-Heitman Endowed
Shelby Robbins - Ruth M. Gwinn-Heitman Endowed
Angela Blackmon - Richard L. Hayes Endowed Scholarship for School Counseling
Tresher Moorer - Lavon Simon Endowed Book Award Fund
  Ronald Morgan - Dr. Chandru Hiremath Memorial Endowment in Instructional Design Development           
Ronald Morgan - Dr. George E. Uhlig Endowed Award Fund
Joshua King - Linda Reaves Endowment for Educators in Math and Science
Stephen Akins - White-Spunner Endowment Scholarship in Education
Devon Weaver - Barbara Phillips Endowed Award for Special Education Teachers Fun

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


Thursday, March 28, 2013

I learned how to embed tweets!! Practice with beautiful Dr. Lewis...

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Sitings at SITE

Susan Santoli and I have arrived and found friends, colleagues and co-presenters Jeannette Fresne and Peggy Delmas. Susan has downloaded her QR reader app and we are ready to experiment and learn about new technologies.

Off to share our first presentation on technology in Arts in Education with Jeannette. Check out Peggy's first day blog post at

Our first presentation, a roundtable sharing ways we integrate technology in the Arts in Education grant, was very fun. Great participants from Chili, the UK (now living in New Orleans) and Maryland. We had a nice exchange of ideas on integrating the arts and technology utilization.

Great lunch at Huck' Finn's between presentations. Complete with a sampler platter of "Nawlin's specialties and fried alligator!

Jeannette, Paige, and Susan
Our grad students are doing a fine job and making @USACOE proud. Nice presentation by Fred Baker on open education designs.
Fred Baker
Art & Technology in the Sheraton...

All that jazz

George Rodrigue's Blue Dog from within the Sheraton
HIGHLIGHT...Retweeted by George Rodrigue!
Great views from the club level of the Sheraton

Monday, March 25, 2013

SITE 2013

I am attending the Society for Information Technology and Teacher Education Conference in New Orleans, LA this week. My presentations with fabulous colleagues include: 

Tuesday, March 26th 10:15-11:15 AM
Jeannette Fresne, University of South Alabama, United States
Paige Vitulli, University of South Alabama, United States
Susan Santoli, University of South Alabama, United States

Tuesday, March 26th 4:00-5:00 PM
Joe'l P Lewis, University of South Alabama, United States
Andrea Yohn, University of South Alabama, United States
Paige Vitulli, University of South Alabama, United States

Wednesday, March 27th 2:45-3:45 PM
Paige Vitulli, University of South Alabama, United States
Susan Ferguson Martin, University of South Alabama, United States
Kelly Byrd, University of South Alabama, United States
Leah Kinniburgh, University of South Alabama, United States
Harold Dodge, University of South Alabama, United States

Thursday, March 28th 10:15-11:15 AM
Paige Vitulli, University of South Alabama, United States
Peggy Delmas, University of South Alabama, United States
Susan Santoli, University of South Alabama, United States

Packing now...presentations will be published soon...