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Elementary [1st-5th] Lesson Plan

self portrait with a personal narritive

Created on January 26, 2023 by artspaz

students will use a detail from an event in a personal narrative they wrote to create a self-portrait. This is an abstract portrait using symbols and objects from the details of the story as the facial features.

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SWBAT explain personal symbols
SWBAT Define shape
SWBAT use colored pencils to create values

1. pencil
2. Black fine tip marker
3. Personal story (pre written from homeroom)
4.colored pencils
5. Practice paper
6. Good drawing paper 9 x 12

Need these materials? Visit Blick!

1. Start by showing them Paul Klee’s, Childs play. Ask what they see…think …or wonder.
2. Ask, why are her eyes the shapes they are? What could it mean? Paul Klee tells us that one eye is a ball, because children like to play with balls, and the other eye is an S, because we see with our eyes. Talk about how the artist is telling us a story.
3. Have the students think of the details from their story. Ask them what do they see? Smell? Hear? Taste? ( Taste could be feelings also, maybe they tasted fear, sadness….) Have them write those things on the practice paper.
4. Tell them they can use the description of the experience to create the parts of the face. What they saw could be the eyes.
5. Have them practice drawing their faces using the objects and details from the story.
6. Once they have some objects they identified to represent the features of the face, they can lay it out on the final paper.
7. . Have them start by drawing the eyes, a little above the middle of the paper, then do the nose and mouth. Remember they are drawing shapes of objects to represent the features of the face.
8. Once the features are drawing in outline with the marker.
9. Color in with colored pencils, trying to make at least 3 different values.
10. I like to display the story with the drawing.

Even though this is a representational artwork, I still like to have the features in the correct place on the face. I do a thumbs up or down to have the artists tell me if the placement of the features is correct.
We share the stories with a partner and have a time to ask questions. Like why did you make the eye a moon? or why is your skin green?

This is a great integrated lesson with the language arts teacher.


Visual Arts Standard 1:
Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes

[K-4] Students use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories

Visual Arts Standard 2:
Using knowledge of structures and functions

[K-4] Students know the differences among visual characteristics and purposes of art in order to convey ideas

Visual Arts Standard 3:
Choosing and evaluating a range of subject matter, symbols, and ideas

[K-4] Students select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning

Visual Arts Standard 5:
Reflecting upon and assessing the characteristics and merits of their work and the work of others

[K-4] Students understand there are various purposes for creating works of visual art

Visual Arts Standard 6:
Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines

[K-4] Students identify connections between the visual arts and other disciplines in the curriculum

Chuck Close, Frida Kahlo, Paul Klee

Abstract Expressionism


Colored Pencil

English/Language Arts