If I Were An Olympian …

2018 was the year of the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, Korea. I’ve been a fan of the games since I was little, following mostly ice-skating in the winter and gymnastics/swimming in the summer.  However, 4 years ago during the Olympics in Sochi, Russia, I became interested in learning about all the other sports and felt an urge to do a self-portrait with my then-second graders.  I’ve always been adamant about doing self-portraits with children because of their ability to see and show their growth over time.  Some of my favorite portrait related posts include photography work with my co-teacher Rachel, black and white portraits inspired by fashion designer Isabel Toledo, and the first year I did portraits monthly with my class.  This time around with portraits however, is perhaps my favorite of all with my current third graders.  I gave birth towards the end of the project, so a huge thank you to Rachel for finishing the project and sending me some pictures of their work!

Creating portraits is always fun with our students, but we wanted to link our art work to our ELA curriculum.  Since we were preparing our third graders for their first time taking the state tests this April (they took them last week. Yay!) , it made a lot of sense to tie our Olympic portrait goals to reading and writing.  We found some awesome kid-friendly articles about some of the winter sports through sites like Pinterest, Readworks, and ReadingA-Z, so we taught about each one while incorporating reading skills and strategies for comprehension and decoding. After learning about most of the sports (Sorry, Skeleton and Biathlon fans!), we had our students think about which one they would want to play and why, then write a short paragraph on it. Afterwards, they drew themselves dressed in uniform and then a related background on a separate cardstock paper.  After they cut their figures out, Rachel and I helped them zigzag tape/glue their figures onto the backgrounds so that it would create a pop-up effect, allowing people to interact with their portraits on the bulletin boards.  Just like this!

(Thank you to my hand model, AY, for moving the pop-up so effectively. haha!)

The final products definitely showed the students’ best work, but even more importantly, they learned SO much from this project and had a blast showing off their pop-up portraits.  Even those who aren’t always interested in doing work put their best efforts into making these neat and well-written!  Right on, future Olympians…!



As always, thanks for reading! Be good to one another 🙂  xoxo

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