In conjunction with some self-reflective writing they were doing at the time, I had the grade 2/3’s do ‘head shot’ portraits of a partner in class. I started things off by demonstrating with a portrait of their teacher, Mrs. Pyle (making observances of her features as I went – and a few jokes shared between us).
Instead of brushes as tools, we gave them pieces of cardboard, and directed them to use the edges; applying the black paint by stamping rather than dragging the cardboard pieces across the page. They could bend the cardboard, or cut it into different sizes.
I suggested that they keep more areas of the page white because there would be a part two that I would tell them about later. After the black dried with the able use of the hair dryer in one delighted student’s hands, I gave them choice of 2 fluorescent finger paints and access to several stamp letter sets.
They were to stamp 2 things: the person’s name they were drawing and one word to describe them. The words could be stamped in sequence, or scattered about the page to make the reading of it more mysterious.
The results are big and graphic, and (sometimes) rather a mix of Tim Burton’s Christmas and Edgar Allen Poe. Neither reference was given to the class – a little too dark for them, I think.
The kids enjoyed the process, and I loved the ways they tackled this one! (One class, double period) The idea came from one of the blogs I visited – when I find it again, I’ll give credit.