A Case of the Bad Hair Days
3rd graders had a case of the bad hair days! we started our first class with a self-portrait drawing. They were given 5 minutes to draw themselves as well as they could without my help. After their drawings, we reconvened and I taught them a few tricks to drawing faces. We talked about how our eyes are in the middle of our head, not on our foreheads (kids typically draw them this way). Then I showed them that the bottom of their nose is right in the middle of their eyes and chin. Their lips are a third of the way down from their nose to their chin. Our ears connect next to our eyes and at the bottom of our nose. And of course we needed to put our head on a neck and shoulders. We made sure that our neck was thick enough to hold up our big brains! After that, students set to work drawing their own self-portraits. They were AMAZED at how much better their drawings were after that quick lesson.
For the second class, we continued drawing. I showed them how to draw crazy hair by drawing different types of lines from my head out to the edge of my paper. I let them draw themselves with short hair but found that that was confusing for a lot of kids and then they were left with a big white background. For future reference, I think I would have the students all draw long hair that takes up the entire page. When they finished drawing, they began tracing their self-portraits with sharpies. Lastly, they erased their pencil lines.
For the last couple classes, they painted with tempera cakes. I'm a sucker for tempera cakes! Can't get enough of them. Tempera cakes are small disks made of dried up tempera paint. They act like a watercolor, requiring a wet brush to activate the paint. After they finished painting, they filled out a "2 Stars and a Wish" form. This is a worksheet that I use to invoke self-critique. I ask the students to write about two things that they think they did well in their artwork and one thing that they wish they could improve upon. This is a great activity because it requires reflection, as well as strengthening their literacy skills.
Harmony and Consolidated Elementary Art Teacher in Milton, WI. UW-Eau Claire graduate. WAEA President. Apple Teacher.