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Looking at ME! Self Portraits from a Reflection

Build self-confidence in our young artists as they use a mono-print transfer technique to create self-portraits by looking into mirrors and drawing what they see.

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. During a unit of study focused on multiculturalism and diversity, discuss WHAT makes us WHO we are. Organize students into small groups or keep them in a whole class setting if so desired. Pose questions such as: What makes each of us special? What do we like to do? How do we play? Where do we live? What do we eat? How do we celebrate? What are our families like?
    2. Distribute safety mirrors and ask children to look carefully at their faces; discuss physical characteristics (such as face, hair, eye colors). What do we SEE? How are these physical characteristics different from person to person? How are they alike? Ask students to use Crayola Dry-Erase Markers or Dry-Erase Crayons to record their ideas on a classroom white board or have an adult do this if students need assistance with writing. These will be kept available for future discussions.
    3. Challenge students to think of how we are all alike and how we are different, focusing on members of the class, group, families and/or community. Compare similarities and differences identified by students and document these comments on a classroom white board.
    4. Share the picture book, Whoever You Are by Mem Fox, with the whole class and point out the similar questions and different faces in the story. Everywhere we look we see those same varying faces.
    5. Ask students to get their safety mirrors and look carefully at their own faces. Identify shapes for faces, eyes, mouths and noses. Using Crayola Window Crayons, students draw what they see, and prepare to use a rubbing technique to transfer the self-portrait to paper.
    6. Directions for the Transfer Monoprint self portrait: -Use Crayola Window Crayons to draw identified lines and shapes directly on the mirrors. Students may draw the entire face, smiles, or eyes. -Cover the entire image with white paper; rub the back of the paper with craft sticks or plastic spoons to transfer the crayon to the paper. -Lift the white paper from the mirror; then use Multicultural Crayons and Triangular crayons to color self-portraits. -Clean mirrors with moistened paper towels to use them for reference for finishing their self-portraits.
    7. Tip: Use Crayola Construction Paper Crayons and Markers, or crayon texture rubbings to embellish colored construction paper strips. Use these embellished strips, blunt tip scissors, and Crayola Glue Sticks to create a frame for the portrait, similar to the borders in the story that ‘frames’ each image to create continuity.
    8. Displaying the portraits: Encourage students to also create their own Faces of Family and Community exhibit showing all of the faces. Continue the discussion of similarities and differences between us. Invite families to view the exhibit and collaboratively write about their own family culture.
    9. Note: Create the rubbing plates prior to this activity using Crayola School glue and mat board. Draw the image/ letter and outline with glue. Allow 3 days to dry completely.
  • Standards

    LA: Actively engage in group reading activities with purpose and understanding.

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    LA: Describe familiar people, places, things, and events and, with prompting and support, provide additional detail.

    LA: Add drawings or other visual displays to descriptions as desired to provide additional detail.

    MATH: Reason with shapes and their attributes.

    SS: Describe personal changes over time, such as those related to physical development and personal interests.

    SS: Describe the unique features of one’s nuclear and extended families.

    VA: Explain the process of making art while creating.

    VA: Describe what an image represents.

    VA: Identify a purpose of an artwork.

  • Adaptations

    Additional literature resources to support this lesson plan include: You're Here for a Reason by Nancy Tillman and The Dot by Peter Reynolds.


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