Kindergarten: Self- Portraits
This lesson functioned as an introduction to observational drawing and self portraits for kindergarteners.
I began by evaluating prior knowledge on the subject of an artist’s self-portrait, using inquiry based learning to develop literacy skills for art. Students discovered the meaning of vocabulary, such as self and portrait and similarity, by breaking down the words, and making connections to their own thoughts and ideas. I led students through the process of identifying and defining self-portrait, as well as discussing why this is a common subject for artists.
Students were asked to evaluate a range of self-portraits created by a diverse group of famous artists (such as Picasso, Frieda Kahlo, and Faith Ringgold), comparing the paintings to photographs of the artists. Students searched to identify features that were the same in both the artwork and the photograph. Students were able to debunk their belief that art is only made through imagination, instead of observation.
After a brief demonstration, students were given mirrors along with their drawing materials, and set to work. When a student asked how they should draw specific details, I instructed them to use their mirrors to inform their work.
As students completed the portraits, I had them add a personal detail about themselves to the background, giving students the opportunity to construct their own narrative. By including this narrative element, the artwork was more than a straightforward portrait drawing, but it became a tool for students to explore their own narratives.