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Behind the Faces

Explore and respond to the work of Marcel Duchamp, creating a collage of a reworked face.

  • Grade 6
    Grades 7 and 8
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. Discuss the techniques and effects of reworking an image with students. Introduce students to the work of Marcel DuChamp. Show students DuChamp's reworked Mona Lisa and do a comparison with the original. Ask students why DuChamp may have decided to rework this painting.
    2. Start a class discussion about the common needs, characteristics, and ideas that people around the world share. Identify differences among people, too. For example, food is important to all people, and people around the world eat different foods. Have students make a chart or web to illustrate their findings.
    3. Have students find a full-faced ad or photograph in a magazine that can be reworked in DuChamp's style. Use an eraser or Crayola® Scissors to rework the face by removing parts of key characteristics, such as eyebrows, lips, and hairstyles.
    4. After students erase everything that they want to change, photocopy the picture. Use Crayola Markers and/or Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils to draw features back onto the picture, creating a whole new look.
    5. Finish the skin tones of the portrait with Crayola Multicultural Markers.
    6. Cover the work area with newspaper. Use a Crayola Paint Brush and water to blend the washable marker colors for a watercolor effect. Dry.
    7. Cut out the drawing and glue it to construction paper with a Crayola Glue Stick.
    8. In newspapers or magazines, find words and phrases that any person might think about. Cut them out and glue to the construction paper.
    9. Students present their finished portraits to the class. Compare and contrast the portrait changes and phrases.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select an duse the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of their ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Who painted the Mona Lisa? Students investigate the life and career of Leonardo daVinci, focusing on his work as a painter. Research can be organized into an electronic presentation for viewing by classmates.

    Students work in pairs to complete this project while focused on a teammate. Students search for a magazine photograph that resembles a teammate and uses the DuChamp techniques to alter the photograph in the likeness of a teammate. For the second part of the project, students search out descriptive words and phrases that represent partners. Display the original artwork individually or as a group.

    Students organize their reworked portraits into a quilt, selecting from a variety of background fabrics available in the classroom. The quilt can be posted in the classroom for display.

    If students are studying a World Language,descriptive words and phrases can be displayed with re-worked portraits in the language being studied.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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