Faith CoLab: Tapestry of Faith: Windows and Mirrors: A Program about Diversity for Grades 4-5

Alternate Activity 2: Life-Size Inner Self-Portraits

Activity time: 30 minutes

Materials for Activity

  • Large roll of brown paper, pencils and scissors (including left-handed scissors)
  • Markers in a variety of colors
  • Optional: Paints, paintbrushes, bowls for water, clean-up supplies
  • Optional: Arts and crafts materials such as stickers, colored paper, glue sticks, and magazines to cut up

Preparation for Activity

  • Make sure you have enough floor space or work tables to accommodate all participants working on large self-portraits.
  • Cut sheets of paper large enough for the children to lie on while someone traces their bodies.
  • Gather the art materials.

Description of Activity

Participants will create "inner" self-portraits of their dreams, hopes, wishes and feelings by writing and drawing on life-size outlines of themselves.

Give each child a large piece of paper. Have the group divide into pairs and take turns tracing the outlines of each other's bodies on the paper. Then, invite the children to create an inner self-portrait inside their body outlines. Suggest that they draw and write about their dreams, wishes, hopes, feelings, or goals. They might also include the people, animals, and things they most care about and love. Decide whether to ask the children to work in silence or to let them discuss the process as they work.

When portraits are completed or time is almost up, invite participants to describe their inner self-portraits to the group. Have each child who volunteers share without interruption or comment from others. Display the portraits in the room. Avoid praising or criticizing the content or execution of the self-portraits. Instead, affirm the variety and point out that our Unitarian Universalist faith community helps each of us know and express our true selves.

Including All Participants

If accessibility issues will prevent any child from fully participating in this activity, skip the body outline and simply use 8 1/2 X 11-inch paper for the portraits.