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Re: [teacherartexchange] Portrait exchange project--middle school


From: chris massingill (chris_massingill_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Sun Feb 04 2007 - 08:40:00 PST


I'm sorry if I'm butting into your conversation, but
I'm interested in this project and how it might turn
out so I've been following this thread.

Anyway, I just finished making self portraits with my
5th graders and before we started we looked at a book
called "Here's Looking at Me" that my librarian
recommended. So anyway, it's a 5th or 6th grade
reading level book with self portraits by famous
artists along with a page about the artist and
explanationss of details of the portraits. For class,
I downloaded the images into a power point to make it
more interactive and so the images could be bigger for
the kids to look at. One thing I was really
surprised at was how well the kids could "read" the
paintings without my help - for instance I had kids
who were popping out of their seats when we looked at
"Las Meninas" because they wanted to point out the man
and woman in the mirror (the King and Queen of Spain)
- I didn't notice that in a college level class until
the professor pointed it out to us!

 And the book has some of my favorite self portraits
including WOMEN ARTISTS!!! woo hoo! Sofonisba
Anguisola and Artemesia Gentileschi are some of the
first portraits mentioned. In any case, this is the
first time I've used this kind of introduction to self
portraits (we ususally just go over the proportions of
the face and I read them a story about Frida Kahlo to
encourage them to paint how they are feeling) and it
made a huge difference in the work. The paintings
seemed much more complete and cohesive and I feel like
I learned alot more about my students than usual.

So, I just thought you might want to check out this
book as a resource - I am definitely going to keep
using it for my self portrait lessons.

Chris Massingill
Simon Intermediate, Conway, AR

--- Peggy Woolsey <> wrote:

> Hi Irene,
> Sorry on the delay getting back to you--totally
> insane week. My
> middle schoolers are ready to go on the portraits. I
> was wondering if
> we might add something to the mix. In an effort to
> make the most of
> the exchange between our two very different parts of
> the world, might
> we include a description of the environment of the
> students. For
> example, some of the details of the student's
> "background" from
> geography to personal interests, for example, in my
> case, a student
> could be snowboarding in the background, or canoeing
> on the river,
> etc. The idea would be to generate subjects that
> would give a sense
> of place to the portraits (in the background). it
> could be a good
> exercise in descriptive analysis and looking for
> symbolic content.
> What do you think? Again, I apologize for the
> slowness--my situation
> is such that I only see the kids once a week, so
> this could take awhile.
> Thanks
> Peggy
> On 3-Feb-07, at 12:38 PM, wrote:
> > Hello, all--
> >
> > I am still looking for a class of about 22 middle
> school students
> > who could
> > participate in my portrait exchange project. My
> eighth graders are
> > ready to
> > go! The project (short version) involves creating
> portraits based
> > on an
> > exchange of written descriptions only. At the end
> of the project,
> > students receive
> > the portraits created of them and a photo of the
> student whose
> > portrait they
> > created.
> >
> > Please respond to me at ASAP if
> interested.
> >
> > Thanks!
> >
> > Irene
> >
> > ---
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> >
> ---
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