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Lesson Plans

fwd: self portraits

[ Thread ][ Subject ][ Author ][ Date ]
Larry Cox (L_J_Cox)
Thu, 29 Apr 1999 21:33:38 -0600

When teaching children the concept of self-portraits, it's hard to remain

if the same method of learning is used year after year. I therefore had
my second-graders learn about self-portraiture by using the theme of
the art gallery. We selected cut paper as our medium.

Our first step was to gain an awareness of individual differences by
each other's facial features. The students learned that while they all
had similar characteristics, they were each unique and also had differences.

Each student drew his or her basic head shape on various shades of flesh

toned paper. Each child felt his or her

head shape so there was the


that the head is not circular,

but rather an oval shape.

Next, each stu

dent felt his or her eye socket shape. We

agreed that the eyes are not just a plain circular shape either, but more
of an oval. The shape was drawn on white paper and cut out.

Then we looked at our eyeballs. The students drew the eyeball shape in
the middle of the white cut-out eye socket, and then colored the iris the
color that matched their own eye color. Then the pupil was added with a
black cut circle. We discussed that the pupil is actually what allows us
to see.

Where should we glue the eyes on the face? At the top? The middle? We again
used the touch method to see how far down our eyes should be placed on
the facial shape. The consensus was that the eyes belonged

about half-way down the face.

When the eyes were in place,

some children drew eyebrows and lashes or made them from cut

paper. Again, we slipped a little

science into the art

lesson. We

discovered that we had eyelashes to

keep debris out of

our eyes. To add di

mension, popout noses were

added. Again, each student felt his or her nose to determine how long or
short and thick or thin, to make the nose. The nose

shape was drawn on flesh-colored paper. When cut out, a tab was created
and bent so that the nose could be

glued on to stand out off the face.

What about lips? By feeling their top lips, the students discovered they
had a "dip" there, and that the lip wasn't simply straight across. Using
red paper, the mouths were added.

Next the hair had to be considered. We talked about hair having different
shades and tints. There are many shades of blonde, brown and red hair.
How would we create these? The solution was to pick from brown, yellow
or black construction paper, then use crayons to lighten or darken the

To measure the bangs, we laid the facial shape on the hair paper and then
traced the top of the head. When cut out, the head and hair matched. Tiny
slits were cut for individual hairs. Boys and girls alike tried to create
the hair style they had worn that day.

Many girls used colored paper to make bows, barrettes and headbands. Some
of the boys caught on to the idea and made caps or hats.

To display the self-portraits, we made school buses and cut out the windows.
The portraits were glued inside to look like the students were anxiously
looking out the window in anticipation of our trip to the art gallery.
A sign above the buses read: "On Our Way To The Art Gallery." These buses
were hung in our lunch room where the entire school could enjoy them.

This project combined the areas of science and art, and served as a prelude
to a first visit to the art gallery. The students learned new information
in a fun and meaningful way.