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Self Portrait Lesson Plan for Elementary School

Instructor: Kristen Goode

Kristen has been an educator for 25+ years - as a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and a university instructor. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership.

Self portraits are a unique way for artists of any age to express themselves. In this lesson plan, students will learn about self portraits and practice creating a self portrait of their own.

Learning Objectives

By the conclusion of this lesson, students will:

  • Define self portrait
  • Create a self portrait

Length

45 - 60 minutes (or one to two class periods, depending on age and grade)

Curriculum Standards

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.2

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.1

Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.6

Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.7

Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.

Materials

  • iPads, polaroid camera, or some method for allowing students to take a selfie picture
  • Drawing paper
  • Colored pencils
  • Writing paper
  • Pencils/pens
  • Examples of self portraits (by famous artists or even of other students, etc.)

Instructions

  • Begin with a discussion about what a self portrait is:
    • A self portrait is a painting (or art of some other type of medium) that portrays a picture of the face of the artist creating it.
    • Most self portraits are done using paint, but other mediums can be used (pencil, crayon, chalk, etc.).
    • In some cases, artists use a mirror to reflect their image for creating a self portrait. In others, a picture might be used.
  • Show some examples of self portraits.
    • Talk about the features of each self portrait.
    • Discuss the expressions that are portrayed.
    • Talk about how each artist most likely created their self portrait.
      • Mediums used?
      • Do you think they used a mirror or a selfie picture?
      • Why do you think they chose to create a self portrait?
  • Finally, explain that for practice, students are going to get to create their own self portraits.

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