5th grade students looked at and discussed many images of self-portraits by other artists. As we went through the images, I really pushed students to think about how this represents WHO the artist is. I asked them to try to look past the obvious such as hair color and gender, but rather to question what the different elements of the portrait might symbolize.
After this discussion, students made lists about themselves to prepare for creation of their own self-portrait. They wrote things like favorite colors, meaningful places or experiences, hobbies, and such.
Using this list for inspiration, students did at least three thumbnail sketches (small sketches) to come up with multiple ideas.
Next students had to create their final self-portrait showing WHO they are. They did this on large poster board paper beginning with a pencil drawing, moving onto acrylic paint and then finally adding details with oil pastels.
The results are super fun, very creative and expressive!