Group Headdresses

6, 7, 8

Groups work together to draw a final draft of their headdress design. Students reflect on the idea of factions forming in a community, like a classroom.

Lesson Rating 
PrintTwo to Three Fifty-Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • design a headdress in the Junkanoo style.
  • work cooperatively and evaluate his/her 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
  • One piece of (23" x 36") posterboard for every student, 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
  • Fan (to help the glue or glitter dry faster).
  • Teacher Preparation:
    • Cut the strips of posterboard for headbands.
    • Set up stations for supplies, i.e.: a glitter area, scrap-paper station.
Home Connection 

Students may need help on homework to identify an organization that protects the rights of minorities.

  • 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:

    Set the mood. Put on an example of a headdress if you have one. Play some Bahamian music. Give a brief verbal description of the beautiful beaches of The Bahamas. "Let's pretend for a moment we are by the Atlantic Ocean on an island. It is warm and sunny with a slight breeze. The sand is clean and in the distance we see a dolphin jump."

  2. Review: Ask students to think of what they learned in the last lesson about the Bahamas. Call on several students to share their information.

  3. Review standards for good group work. (Encourage team members by making positive comments. Make suggestions in a thoughtful manner.) Introduce the concept of community capital. (Community capital is banked goods that build up within and between groups. This capital is helpful when disputes arise.)

  4. Discuss 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? (The dominant or majority view can squelch good ideas and products that individuals may have.) Factional competition can have positive effects, such as improved performance. It can also lead to mischief or hurt feelings.

  5. Send students to their teams to work together. Although they are working together to be the team with the best headdresses, each student makes a headdress. The headdresses in a group should all come from the original design, but each student makes his or her own variations. 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.

  6. When the two-dimensional work is done, have students bring their front panel to the teacher who will check for quality and affix the panel to a headband (strip of posterboard cut earlier). Note that the work then becomes three-dimensional.

  7. Allow students to work at their own pace to complete the front panel of the headdress. Encourage those who leave areas blank to consider the Junkanoo examples for more ideas. Students should adjust the headdresses to feel as comfortable as possible, while looking good back and front.

  8. Monitor group work for participation by each person. Continue to discuss the formation of factions as work proceeds. 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.

  9. Make two charts with the headings "Good Group Work" and "Hardships in Group Work." Explain that in column one, the class will recall ways their group functioned well. Without using specific names in column two, they will list problems that can get in the way of accomplishing the group goal. Ask each person to list at least one thing on each chart. Using the standards students listed, help them evaluate their group cooperation. Let students discuss how following rules for cooperative group behavior actually makes more efficient completion of the task.

  10. Explain that there are organizations at work around the world to encourage human equality. Some examples are: Amnesty International, UNICEF, Children's Defense Fund, and NOW (National Organization of Women). Ask students if they can identify any others. Discuss why these organizations are important.

  11. Assign homework. Have students name an organization that supports the rights of a minority group of some kind. Then ask them to write why they think that group is necessary.

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.