Group Headdresses

6, 7, 8

In this lesson, groups work together to make their headdresses based on a common design. Each person makes their own headdress that fits the group theme but has their own style or cultural uniqueness. The groups compete against each other, so the group benefits from working together internally with a strong unifying theme.  Participants reflect on the idea of factions forming in a community, like a classroom. 

PrintOne 50-Minute Session
  • work cooperatively and evaluate group work.
  • define the meaning of community capital and factions.
  • explore the work of groups that represent minority interests.
  • designs from Lesson One: Introduction to Junkanoo! A Bahamian Festival
  • for each participant: one piece of (23" x 36") posterboard with one strip (2" x 36") cut from the side of each piece
  • art supplies: markers, crepe paper, glue, glitter, bright paper, stapler and tape
Teacher Preparation 
  • Cut the strips of posterboard for headbands.
  • Set up stations for supplies 
Home Connection 

Identify an organization that protects the rights of minorities. Write its mission and describe its work. 

  • Bethel, E. Clement. Junkanoo: Festival of the Bahamas. London: Macmillan Caribbean, 1991.
  • Cousins, Linda. This Man Can Cook. Cultural Travel Publications, 1997. ISBN: 0930569040.
  • Greenfield, Eloise. Under the Sunday Tree. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1988. ISBN: 006443257


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Review standards for effective group work (take turns, listen, make positive comments, be respectful).

    Introduce the concept of community capital. (Community capital is banked good will that builds up within and between groups. This capital is helpful when disputes arise.)

  2. Reflect on the concept of factions as introduced in Lesson One: Introduction to Junkanoo! A Bahamian Festival.

    Why do groups of people work in opposition to each other?

    Do factions happen within a group? How do factions hurt teamwork? (i.e., hurt feelings, good ideas from minority squashed, lack of cooperation.) Factional competition can have positive effects, such as improved performance or drive to win.

  3. Although they are working together to be the team with the best headdresses, each participant makes a headdress. The headdresses in a group should all come from the original design and have a unifying element, but each person makes their own variations, which may reflect their own culture. The headdresses should not be identical. As in the real Junkanoo, the costumes within a group are built around a common theme. They can share a similar design element, such as the same colors or lines. They may share a theme, such as Bahamian animal life (flamingos, fish, lizards, parrots, and butterflies) or plant life (coconuts, palm-trees, and coral). Demonstrate how the resources available at each station can be used to produce quality work.

  4. Participants complete the front panel of the headdress and affix it to the headband (strip of posterboard cut earlier). Then they fill in blank areas by looking to the Junkanoo examples and consulting with their team for more ideas. They adjust the headdresses to feel as comfortable as possible, while looking good back and front.

  5. Observe group work for participation by each person, supporting group members, and even building social capital with the people working alone. Continue to discuss the formation of factions as work proceeds or conflict arises. Problem-solving techniques, such as active listening, taking the other's point of view, compromise, and discussion are helpful in advancing a group toward a final product. Discourage groups from breaking up once they have started working together.

  6. Reflect with the whole group on their observations of the group work. Make a T-chart with headings: effective group actions and ineffective group actions. 

  7. Explain that there are nonprofit organizations at work around the world to encourage human equality and minority rights. Some examples are: Amnesty International, UNICEF, Children's Defense Fund, Black Lives Matter, and NOW (National Organization of Women). Brainstorm others. Discuss why these organizations are important. 

    Assign homework to look up organizations that work for equal rights or celebrate the heritage of minority groups. 

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark MS.11 Identify and give an example of organizations in the civil society sector that work to protect minority voices around the world.
      2. Benchmark MS.12 Identify the dilemma of minority rights in a pure democracy.
      3. Benchmark MS.13 Define and offer examples of <i>community/social capital</i> in the community.
    2. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Participate in acts of democratic citizenship in the classroom or school, such as voting, group problem solving, classroom governance or elections.