Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Grade 5 Portrait Lesson

So today was a day spent as a substitute art teacher. For one class, the regular teacher asked me to come up with a lesson related to portraits. Here is what I pulled out of thin air with little planning. However, with a little more development I think this lesson could be a keeper so I am passing it on to anyone who wants to run with it.

For this lesson, students begin by drawing ovals for their heads. Then a hat is added. For the example I made a floppy hat, but the students could make any hat they chose. Next the hat is divided into parts (at least 5 to 7 works best). In each part the students wrote a "title" that they have. This could be something ranging from a family relationship (like sister or daughter) to a hobby (like gamer or drummer). Once the various text were added (different shapes of lettering makes it look even nicer), the facial features (one eye may be hidden by the brim), hair, and clothing details were added. Then, everything was outlined in black unless a few of the words were left in pencil to be outlined in the next step. After outlining, students chose a favorite color (just one) and used that to color parts of the hat, lettering, clothing and facial features leaving the hair and skin white.

When the portrait part was complete, students broke the background into segments and each segment had a different pattern drawn using the limited color palette of black and the one chosen color.

Variations of this theme:
Graduate Portraits: Students draw themselves wearing graduation caps and the text depicts their future ambitions.
Mother's or Father's Day Portraits: Students draw their parents and write words of gratitude on the hats.
Friend Portraits: Students draw a classmate and the text on the hat is all complimentary adjectives that describe the classmate. Or the text on the hat is favorite things that classmate likes as determined by an interview prior to drawing.

Enjoy these ideas and if you use them I'd love to hear about it, so feel free to comment.

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