One of the first things that I (and many of my colleagues) invite Kindergarten students to do at the beginning of the school year is to draw themselves. These first-day drawings are such a special piece of developmental evidence, and they become even more remarkable when seen alongside subsequent drawings from that school year and beyond. It’s truly a remarkable thing to witness this evidence of students’ growth and development.
At the beginning of May I took part in a wonderful session put on by two of my Kindergarten colleagues from our division that renewed my excitement about the power and potential in self-portraits.
More Than Peach Project
Bellen, the Creator of the More Than Peach Project shares a lot of important thoughts and resources on her Instagram page @morethanpeachproject. She has a fabulous line of products that showcase many crayon options for a variety of skin colours.
I plan for at least one self-portrait per month in Kindergarten. Students love to see these up on the wall and in their memory books, and I love seeing them light up when they recognize themselves and notice the increasing level of detail in their work. Here are a few examples of self-portrait activities:
- First day of school self-portrait
- Specific instruction on drawing a person using Mat Man from the Handwriting Without Tears program
- Orange Shirt Day self-portraits
- Halloween costume drawings
- Je suis unique (I am unique) collaborative bulletin board created by decorating outlines of people (like this one from The Creative Mermaid) to represent ways in which we are each unique
- I also like having students decorate one the first week of school, and then we laminate it to use as a sign-in doll.
- Year-end Shrinky-Dink Keychains
What is your favourite self-portrait activity to do with students?