Tuesday, August 16, 2016

In the Art Room: Mini-Monochromatic Self-Portraits

Well, hello there. This big toothy grin is brought to you by our mini-monochromatic self-portrait project! Our first project of the new school year is a collaborative one. Each of my four hundred-ish students will be making a 3" square selfie to contribute to a large mural. Y'all might have seen the rainbow portrait mural that was all the rage on Pinterest a couple years ago (in case you missed, it's the same process as what I'm sharing here. When complete, the portraits are hung in Roy G. Biv order which makes for a beautiful display). The last time I did a project like this (back in 2012), we hung the pieces to create a large world map. This go-round I have something different in mind which I hope to have ready to share with y'all real soon. In the meantime, let's chat monochromatic self-portraits!
 I have my older students, third and fourth grade, for an hour. After watching the start of the video below, I allowed the students the choice of either participating in the guided drawing in the video or working on their own. My classes were pretty evenly split between those who preferred guided vs. independent. Some kids would draw along for a while until they felt comfortable then migrate to their chosen table (more on that in a sec) while others would decide they'd like a little guidance and join the kids on the floor.
Creating this video was great in that I could add vocabulary pop-ups when needed. I also think that the intro would work great with a variety of self-portrait projects. Feel free to show it in your art room, that's why I'm sharing it here! You can find many more videos like this on my YouTube channel. I add more videos weekly so if you subscribe, you can stay tuned. 
My third graders (seen above) were able to bust these bad boys out in no time. I had only one rule when coloring: only use colored pencils on the face. I learned from experience that the dark markers will often cover too much of the face and the kids lose their beautiful details. 

So, who did they know which colors to use? 
I color coded the tables! I told the kids that the table cloth signified which color was available on the table. Inside those plastic bins were markers and colored pencils of only one color. I also had mirrors and "idea sheets" (with a variety of faces and facial features) drawn on them.
So on the first days of art, the kids sat where they liked, no assigned seats. This gave me a chance to see who would migrate together and who would not be able to sit with their buddy (more talkie than workie means new seatie for sweetie). 
 AH!! First grade! Their selfies made me smile! 
 For the wee ones, we did a guided drawing activity. We spent one day learning about self-portraits and drawing them together.
I love this activity because it's such a great assessment of student skill level at the start of the year. It also is gonna make a super sweet mural that I can pop up on the walls right away. And, who doesn't love a selfie? Especially when they are this cute. 

Love to hear what y'all are doing for these first weeks back to school! 

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39 comments:

  1. YOU, CASSIE STEPHENS, are amazing!!!
    September has always been about getting all my students (1-6) to create self-portraits inspired from different artists. But this year, I'll be doing it differently (just like you) and I'm sure it'll be so much more fun! And much easier on me! THANK YOU so much for taking the time and energy to share this! Can't wait to see the mural!

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    1. You are so sweet, thank you for your kind words! Glad to share :) Yes, it will be so much easier, which is a great and relaxing way to start a new year. Have a SUPER one!!

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  2. This is awesome! I've already scraped my day one plans and have decided to do this, thank you!

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  3. This is awesome! I've already scraped my day one plans and have decided to do this, thank you!

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    1. Awesome!! I think you'll find the results really wonderful...and everyone loves seeing their self portrait on the wall (esp. the parents on Open House night ;) )

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  4. These are great! Do you have a copy of your idea sheet you can share? Thanks so much!

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  6. How do you attack K-2 differently with this? Excited to get chosen for my first art teacher job now (interview results soon!) because now I have a fun start ... monochromatic selfies!

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    1. Hi Ann! For second grade, I gave them the option to draw along with me or on their own and they always chose to sit with me and draw. I think they just like the buddy thing ;) I did the same directions as shown in the video but I did it "live" and I did it much slower. First grade drew a long with me, again, "live" and slower. For kindergarten, who will do this next week, they will be given a piece of paper with the U shape predrawn. In the past, they always drew too small...so having a predrawn U really helps them out. I hope that helps!

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    2. Even Kinders start with Sharpies?!

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  7. Thank you Cassie. It helps a lot. I hope to get this job to put all these ideas to use.

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    1. Would you give each class their own color so it hangs by class in the hall...or for the fun of searching their art you let them choose and mix all students up?

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    2. We're gonna mix it all up. But the kids signed them...and they'll know which area to look in for their selfie so it should be easy for them to find. It also means that they'll have to admire the work of others as they search for their own :)

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  8. Second on the 'idea sheet!" Would love to take a peek at yours and use for the littles.

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    1. Hi Angela! I just used copied sheets from how to draw books and from the internet!

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  9. Anonymous8/20/2016

    I love when the little ones draw! It's a unique quality that can't be duplicated!-M3

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  10. Kevin Abeyta8/21/2016

    Amazing!

    Love this project and the breakdown of it. Thanks mucho!

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  11. Every post of yours I read, I half-worry you'll poop out one of these days. Thank you for always being so generous in your sharing of ideas and projects. As a lone private school art teacher without a district, you inspire me weekly in one way or another, and I truly appreciate it. ~DMarieSpice

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  12. Anonymous8/25/2016

    Cassie, will you eventually hang up EVERY students' work? I feel like that's a TON! Or will you just pick a few from each color?

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    1. They will all go up! I plan to have them up by next week so pop by and check it out, I'll be sure to share with y'all how I hung it and the time it took :)

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  13. What type of adhesive do you use to put the mural together and support it?

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    1. I'll be sharing details next week but in the past, I've used spray adhesive and/or hot glue and attach them to bulletin board paper :)

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    2. Meghan Purcell9/02/2016

      When I have done this in the past I used clear packing tape. I laid them all out in order face down on the floor. I then used one long line of clear packing tape to connect them. This way when I hang them in the hall I can just use masking tape on the clear tape and prevent ripping the portrait upon removal. Also when handing them back I could just cut right on the clear tape to separate. Quick and easy.

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    3. FABULOUS!! THANK YOU!!

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  14. I love this! Definitely the first project of the year. I have two bulletin boards on my back wall and can picture them filled with little faces for Open House. Thank you for sharing!!!

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  15. Love this video. What do you use to voice over the Prezi?

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    1. Check this video out! I explain that about 1/2 way thru, super easy! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMfKIekY6KE

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  16. Cassie, great project and great video! Have you been using Prezi for long? I'm considering using it this year and wondering if you'd recommend it and if so, what version you use. Also curious what you use for a document cam and if you talked while doing the demo in that video or did the voice-over afterwards.

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    1. I LOVE prezi!! I tell everyone about it because it is so stinkin' easy to use (unlike powerpoint which I really do not like, too many choices for me). I use the free option for prezi which is why, if you go to my prezis (and feel free to use them) you'll notice I always use the same format ;) Here is a video on now I make the videos...about half way thru I talk about doing voice overs, it's super easy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMfKIekY6KE

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  17. I may have missed this...What size are these little squares?
    Everyone starts with white?
    Thanks.

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    1. Hi Lauralee! Each square was white and a 4" square :)

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  18. Hi Cassie!

    Where do you find the time??!! Anyway, what "idea sheets" do you use for them to refer to on their tables?

    Thanks so much,
    Keep on, keepin on.

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  19. So good! I am going to try something similar to frame a "HOPE" message poster the teachers created in my school. Thanks for sharing your work, it is so inspiring.

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  20. Did you talk with them about any famous monochromatic artwork? I'm looking for more to go over on the drawing day and doing the color on another.

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  21. I read your blog frequently and I just thought I’d say keep up the amazing work! outdoor portraits

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Thank you so much for your comments. I appreciate each and every one :)