Lifelong learners and artists

One of my favorite parts of teaching is the ability to help mold the children into people who believe they can do anything they set their minds to. With this year’s group of children, art became a huge part of the learning process because they went from hating to color and drawing, to focusing on every little detail and enjoying the process of their creations.  Thanks to my principal’s encouragement in making self-portraits, I was able to embed the artwork into my curriculum.

One of my students brought back all his work to the classroom last week, so I asked him if I can take pictures. Here are 6 of the portraits we did this year, each focusing on a different use of medium or topic. He has grown so much!

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September:  crayon self-portrait with no lesson on coloring. I just asked them to draw a picture of their face and down to the shoulder. 

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November:  color pencil drawing with them in action using a verb. Here, he used “swimming” as his favorite action and his picture of him is a pop-up that can swing left to right.

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January: “What do you wear in the winter?” We used color pencils, sharpie, chalk, and felt as the art materials.  The felt was used to show what winter accessory he wears – a hoodie.

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March:  “If I was an Olympian”  after watching videos and learning about each winter sport in the 2014 Olympics, Kevin decided he would draw himself as an Cross-Country skiier. 

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April: We played with 2 new mediums here: oil pastel and watercolor.  The other 2 sections were color pencil and crayon.

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May:  As our final self-portrait (and hardest), I challenged the children to use only oil pastel and taught them to blend colors to create different effects on top of a black & white self photo. He had a little difficulty with the mouth but when he got stuck, he remembered to use other colors to blend the mistakes in!

The process of the self-portraits was such a crucial part to these children’s confidence and esteem. There’s nothing that can stop them now! (especially after doing these incredibly hard oil pastel drawings… I’m inspired to do one myself now!)

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