Monday, September 24, 2012


I like to start the school year off with portraiture. I especially wanted to do them first thing this year because I am brand new to my school and wanted to see my students' style. I had a pre-assessment assignment where I simply told them to draw a self portrait. That was it. No more information was given.

I had lots of pictures with circle and dot eyes. Pictures with pointy noses and smile lines. Some students drew the whole body and some had a landscape orientation. In each class there was at least one that didn't even resemble a person.

My next step was to teach them a guided self portrait. I talked about portrait orientation, how much of the body is shown (think school photo), shape of the eye, shape of the nose, shapes for lips, and shape for hair. I kept telling them that the other ways were not wrong. I said the other ways look like cartoons and we were learning the artist's way of drawing a portrait. I also talked about craftsmanship and how to color with crayons.

This is the bulletin board outside of my room. I have the third and fourth grade showcased work on this board. I put laminated black paper up as the background so all I have to do now is put the artwork up with masking tape and there is an instant border. It's also very easy to switch out the artwork since it's just taped up. 

Here are the close ups. I love the backgrounds and different details the students added to their portraits.

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