My first year teaching, last year, I spent some time going over rules and
consequences and then had all levels (1-5) do a portrait of me sitting on a
stool with a hat and glasses, and patterned skirt or shirt. For the 1-3
grades they drew with color pencils on a manilla 9x11 paper with a strip at
the bpottom, preprinted, about how they were going to work hard and have fun
in art class this year. The tag said, "this is a portrait of my teacher, that
I drew today." I kept the 4 and 5 th grade's drawings. They got a kick out of
it. I got to see their skill levels and their visual perception skills. It
also allowed me some time it being my first week to not be so overwelmed by
having 5 levels of different lesson plans.
I,m not sure about this year. But I'm thinking of doing some kind of work
that is built on by each class, murals perhaps. When I volunteered at the
Inner City Arts, in Los Angeles, years ago we did that on canvas. I think the
kids did self portraits. But I can't remember. One thing that unified it all
was painting in a solid background color around their images. It looked
great. The kids adored it.