Father’s Day was fast approaching and I felt the some of my kids needed additional gifts for their dad’s. As usual, I de-emphasize that it ion for Dads, as some of my students don’t have one and emphasized instead that it be a portrait of a family member, but could be for Father’s Day if they wanted.

I’ve been starting with showing some videos for inspiration, like this one: Royal First grade self-portrait lessons. However, I didn’t want them to copy, nor make a self-portrait, so I distracted them with a longer and sillier than usual introduction. I told them to they were going to make “Mixed-Media crazy portraits”. I reminded them of the lessons on Klee, Modigliani, Picasso, etc and they repeated comments about exaggerated features like long necks, big noses, etc… I emphasized that I wanted them to use at least two different mediums: cut or torn paper, crayons, pencils, and/or markers, etc. Each was given a piece of grey-ish construction paper (14″ x 17″) and a glue stick, then set to choose what other materials they wanted. Some found yarn and pipe cleaners to add.

We went over our mantras about the learning and originality benefits of making mistakes; that they should take their time making them; and that art is fun.

The sessions, including instructions are about 50 minutes long, but I build in spare time later in the day for those who want/need it.

Most of them made family portraits, including anthropomorphized pets. Some jut let go and made silly faces. I really enjoyed watching them work, share ideas, and giggle about the people they might recognize in the portraits.

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