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The Biggest Hug

Students use everyday classroom materials to create a head and shoulders self-portrait with a large, unfolding hug.

  • Kindergarten
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Open a discussion with students focused on hugs: WHAT, WHEN, HOW and WHY hugs are used in our lives. Have children give themselves a variety of hugs, modeling the hugs with them: happy hugs, big hugs, silly hugs, sad hugs, puppy hugs, sibling hug, mom/dad hugs, grandparent hugs, monster hugs, and more. Once the discussion appears exhausted, let students know that they will be creating a self portrait hug!
    2. Students begin by folding a 6” x 24" (15.2 x 60.9 cm) piece of white drawing paper in half lengthwise. With Crayola Multicultural Crayons, students trace their arms and hands on the folded paper, one arm and hand on each half of the white paper. Note: the elbow should be in alignment with the fold to create a symmetrical shape when cutting with Crayola Blunt Tip scissors.
    3. Using the same Multicultural Crayons or Multicultural Markers, students color both sides of the arms and hands.
    4. Suggest to students that they use observation skills and unbreakable mirrors to "study" their faces: eyes, nose, smiles, hair, eye color, hair color, etc. Ask them to comment on what they see!
    5. Students draw and cut out a self portrait of only their faces on a separate 9” x 12” (22.8 x 30.4 cm) sheet of white drawing paper. Use markers or crayons to add color. Additional paper can be used to make a neck, if so desired.
    6. Have children select a 6” x 9” (15.2 x 22.8 cm) sheet of colored construction paper to matches their shirts.
    7. Using Crayola Glue Sticks, students attach their arms to the back of the their paper shirts. Students continue assembling their self portraits by gluing the necks and faces to the top of shirts. Images will appear as if the arms are open wide for hugs.
    8. Use Crayola Construction Paper Crayons and other My First markers and crayons to add patterns and designs to paper shirts.
    9. Have students display their artwork and talk about their choices of color and design.
  • Standards

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

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    SS: Explore factors that contribute to one’s personal identity such as interests, capabilities, and perceptions.

    VA: Engage in exploration and imaginative play with materials.

    VA: Describe what an image represents.

    VA: Create art that tells a story about a life experience.

  • Adaptations

    Read The Perfect Hug by Joanna Walsh and Judi Abbot. Ask children to discuss different kinds of hugs. Write a story about THEIR particular hug they have made.

    Fold the arms in, overlapping the shirt, and place student artwork in a large envelope. Write a letter on the shirt (front or back) and when the recipient (mom/dad) opens the arms of the artwork, it is already outstretched as if ready for a hug!

    Use construction paper and Crayola product to create the rest of the body (legs, shoes) and display with all children in a line.


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