I must say I feel a bit self conscious writing about this project that my
fifth graders love to do at the end of the year. Some people are saying
that art projects are out now (or should be) but here it is anyway:
I call it the "Really Bad, Crazy Hair Day". The children are given a sheet
of 12" square white drawing paper. They have to draw an expressive face -
no cartoon stuff. They do self portraits every year so they are used to
drawing faces. They make faces in mirrors and try to draw them. Sad,
surprised, scared, shocked, anything showing expression. Then they make
lines going out to the edge of the page. All different kinds of lines - the
more the better. Each line must be double. That is; it must have another
line really close to it exactly the same as the first line. This slows them
down so they don't just scribble lines. They must also overlap some of
their lines. A few small areas must be filled in with black like the inside
of the mouth, the pupils, some of the hairs (they get to choose.) I have
them draw the face and a few lines in pencil first just so I can see that
they're getting it. Then they switch to very fine black sharpies. They
fill the page with lines.
Some do beards and mustaches. Some do bows and barrettes. Some do
imaginary rock singers. Some add a neck and shoulders so they can draw a
shirt. Some just have a face surrounded by hair. Some incorporate words
into their lines.
It takes about three 45 minute periods. They get so quiet while they're
working. At the end of each period they're allowed to walk around the room
to see the others. This is a very popular project.