Monolithic Statues of Easter Island

Article excerpt


Share the Clip & Save Art Print with students. Point out that the mask-like face on the sculpture in the foreground appears over and over again on nearly 900 stone sculptures on Easter Island.

(If possible, take students on a virtual tour of the island. To get started, go to one of the websites listed in Art Notes.) Have students describe the features of the statue's face. Possible responses might be: big eyes, long nose, heavy brows, and wide, thin mouth.

Tell students they will be creating their own Easter Island mask. Pass out paper on which you have drawn an outlined shape of a head similar to the head shape of the Easter Island statues. Direct students to draw a face with features similar to those on the sculpture seen in the Art Print.

When students have completed the drawing stage, give them safety scissors to cut out the mask along the outline. Help them attach elasticized string to their masks. Take a class picture of students wearing their creations, and display the image alongside the Art Print.


Share the Art Print with students. Explain that this sculpture is one of nearly 900 sculptures, called "moai," on Easter Island. (Show students a map of the South Pacific in relationship to the United States, pointing out the location of Easter Island.) Give students scrap paper and pencils, and ask them to sketch their own version of a moai.

Next, show students how to build a face using modeling clay. When students are ready, give each a hunk of clay and challenge them to create a face. Students can model their sculpture after the Easter Island moai, or create an original visage. Mount the dried faces on pedestal bases of clay, wood blocks or recycled plastic bowls. Create a space in the classroom to display the finished sculptures alongside the Clip & Save Art Print. …