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Animal favorites decorated BCC Christmas tree
Ellinwood grade school Christmas tree at Schaeffer

ELLINWOOD — Using real looking paper mache masks, Ellinwood Grade School fifth graders used the opportunity to decorate their annual Barton Community College Christmas tree with paper mache masks of a wide variety of animals including the cute, cuddly panda bear, a dog and a bat.
“It took us from early October until we delivered them on Nov. 16,” said EGS art instructor Lisa McMullen. “I know they had a lot of fun going out to the college.”
McMullen described the process of making the mask. “I have a plastic form and the students made it into animals,” she said.
The plastic form is of a human face. The students then used newspapers, tape and paper mache glue to turn the mask into their current forms.
The project was designed with a goal in mind. “I wanted them to look like the animal,” McMullen said. “They do a nice job.”
Decorating a tree with ornaments of every shape, color and size at BCC is annual project for area fifth graders. Each year, McMullen tries to come up with a different project.
McMullen said the project took a lot of steps to get it finished. First, the students looked on the computer to find a true picture of the animal they wanted to portray.
The fifth graders learned patience during the process. “The students wanted to get it finished in one day,” the art instructor said.
After the kids drew a side view of their chosen animal and added the paper mache, they then painted the animal with tempera paint after the paper mache had cured.
One student, Blaine Leon, made an eagle mask. “It took a lot of time,” he said. “I chose an eagle because it is beautiful and no was else was doing a bird.”
He said that he needed a little help with the beak. “I needed a little help,” Leon said, “but then I just went and went.”
He likes art class because he likes being creative. “I like it really well,” he added. He thinks he might hang the eagle in his room.
The class meets once per week for 45 minutes.