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Self Portraits


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  • 1. Self-Portraits A Cultural Diversity Lesson for Grade 3
  • 2. Michigan Standards
    • Use art materials and tools safely and responsibly.
    • Apply knowledge of materials, techniques, and processes to create artwork.
    • Apply knowledge of materials, techniques, and processes to create artwork.
    • Explore cultural diversity through the use of visual and performing arts.
  • 3. Objectives
    • Perceive and identify a variety of portrait examples
    • Understand that artists communicate ideas visually
    • Experience the artistic process of planning, revising and finalizing an artwork
    • Relating cultural characteristics of the sample portraits and the students’ self-portrait.
    Duration: Three Class Periods
  • 4. Key Questions
    • Why do artists make portraits?
    • What cultural characteristics can you see in the portrait?
    • What cultural characteristics can you see in the portraits of your classmates?
    • What artistic process will you use when creating your portraits?
  • 5. Key Questions
    • How old is the person?
    • When did he/she live?
    • Was he/she rich or poor?
    • Are there any objects in the portrait? Why did the artist include them?
    • What mood was the person in when the portrait was made?
    • Summarize what you learned about the person just by looking at his/her portrait.
  • 6. Teacher Resources
    • Examples of realistic and abstract portraits throughout history
    • Examples of contrasting art forms (landscapes, still lifes, genre paintings, abstract works...)
    • A portrait or photograph example about someone you know
    • Visit the website and use the Zoom feature to look closely at portraits and the detail shown in them.
  • 7. Student Resources
    • Scratch paper
    • Colored Pencils
    • Erasers
    • 9 x12” drawing paper
    • Erasable colored pencils,
    • Markers
    • Watercolor paints
  • 8. Material and Supplies
    • The students will use supplies appropriately
    • The students will share the supplies with each other
    • The students will clean and care for their supplies
    • The students will assist in cleaning up after the completion of each phase of their project
  • 9. Procedure
    • Place famous portraits around the classroom
    • Ask students to attempt to identify cultural characteristics
    • Visit the National Gallery of Art Website to view additional portraits
    • Ask students to brainstorm ideas of making a portrait of the teacher
    • What do you want people who view the portrait to know about me?
    • The teacher will draw a quick sketch filling the paper with ideas
  • 10. Procedures Continued
    • Make mistakes when drawing and inform the students that mistakes are acceptable
    • Draw lightly so it is easier to erase mistakes
    • The first class period will be used to discuss portraits and create their idea sketch
    • The second class period will be used to create a the detailed sketch
    • The third class period will be used to create the colored drawing
  • 11. Performance Assessment and Critique
    • What really caught my eye was ________.
    • That artwork shows ______ really well.
    • I think _______ would improve that artwork.
    • I'd like to see more of __________.
    • That artist is really skilled at _________.
    • I am a little confused by ________.
    • The students can use these questions when critiquing each other’s art. Negative words and phrases will not be permitted.
  • 12. Extension Activities and Variations
    • Students will disabilities will be partnered with students who can assist in retrieving supplies
    • Gifted learners may create a more detailed self-portrait including background detail and depth.
    • Students can assist one another with ideas about their own culture.
    • Students can identify key elements in a portrait by a famous artist
    • Students can write a brief essay on the feelings depicted in the portrait.
  • 13. References
    • Who am I? Retrieved from,26 on August 2, 2009.