Activity 4: Self-Portraits
Activity time: 15 minutes
Materials for Activity
- Large roll of paper
- Optional: 11x17-inch sheets of drawing or construction paper in various shades of brown
- Color pencils, pastels and/or markers, including colors that represent eye and hair colors of children in the group
- Scissors, including left-handed scissors
Preparation for Activity
- Obtain a large roll of paper such as butcher paper, paper for wrapping parcels, or the paper for children's easels. Note that if you use white paper, most children will need to spend a lot of time coloring to accurately represent their skin. Plain brown paper is a more neutral choice that will allow all the children to focus on details such as hair, eyes and clothing.
- Optional: For head-and-shoulders self portraits, provide 11x17-inch paper in a variety of shades of brown so children can select a color they think is accurate.
- Decide whether the children will create whole-body self-portraits or head-and-shoulder portraits and plan accordingly.
- Set out art materials on the work tables and/or the floor.
- Invite a few adult or youth volunteers to help trace the children's outlines.
Description of Activity
The children will be making self-portraits. Have each child lay down on the paper and cut a sheet a bit longer than the child is tall. An adult or youth can trace the person's body. Or, if using construction paper, help children outline a head and shoulders. Invite the children to draw their own features and clothing as accurately as possible.
Co-leaders and volunteers should also make a self-portrait if they will participate in the next Activity 5, How Are We Different? How Are We the Same?
Including All Participants
If mobility issues prevent a child from lying down, allow all participants to choose to draw a head-and-shoulders self-portrait instead of a whole-body portrait.