Mixed Media Self-Portraits: Part 1

Year 3 | Age 7-8| 3 Classes (Including Part 2)

Today’s lesson was essentially How To Draw Facial Expressions and my goodness did I experience them all today. All of them. In the morning I taught 60 children in Year 3 (age 7-8) to draw the face, they learned where to put all the facial features and ears, and how to draw a neck and shoulders to make a great self-portrait.  In the Afternoon, I taught another 60 kids, but in Year 1 (age 5-6) What did they draw? Whatever they wanted. A good half of the kids tossed the lesson I gave out the door and drew whatever face they wanted. To each their own I guess.

What You’ll Need

A5 White Paper or Card Stock Pencils Crayola Multi-cultural Crayons Pastels or Crayons Black Sharpies (optional)

What To Do

Draw The Head and Shoulders

First they trace around a pre-cut oval that I made on to 12″ x  18″ paper in black crayon. Small hands tend to always draw teeny tiny everything! This pre-cut oval helped them get bigger with their drawings… although they still made teeny tiny shoulders.

Colour in the face Then they draw their features and start colouring the skin. We used Crayola Multicultural Shades for that. They left their portraits bald, because next class we will paint the background and then add yarn hair when it’s dry.

And then after lunch... I had my class of 30 Year 1’s  (age 5-6). This is where it all went tits up. It started great. I thought I would try the same lesson and they actually seemed to really enjoy it! They were laughing at my jokes and answering questions correctly, some chatterers were put in their place but overall, they were getting it. The teaching assistant left briefly to chase two boys that left to the bathroom without letting me know and then she went to private teach a student.

As soon as she left a MASSIVE fart was let out by one of the kids! I was in shock! I told the anonymous child to always say excuse me and I tried to keep it moving while all the kids erupted in laughter while I’m there trying to stifle my own laughter.

I dismissed the kids to their tables and notice two children sitting on a water spill. They’d been sitting there the whole lesson and had not noticed. When they all got up I asked the girl sitting there “who spilled that?” She starred blankly, and didn’t reply. She doesn’t talk much.

Then I asked the boy next to her, “where’s the water bottle?” Just then he burst into tears!  The boy was still crying and as everyone else was seated ready to start the drawing. He cries “I had an accident!” balling his eyes out.

I tell him it’s ok and to make sure he tells me next time he needs to go (even though this kid doesn’t talk much either, or really understand what’s going on most of the time). The other kids are coming up to me asking me “Can I have the paper? Can I have a crayon? I want to start! Can I get a drink?”

They absolutely love to crowd around me for some reason despite my constant reminders that I will go to them. Anyway, I spent the majority of the class trying to get this kid changed into his P.E clothes all while handing out paper, directing the kids about the facial drawings and dealing with all the kids coming up to me, being loud, chatting, and 2 other kids crying because one had the eyes in the wrong place and the other coloured his face the wrong shade. It was a completely mess actually.

Today was a write off. I’m surprised the kids got anything out of this. They actually seemed to produce semi-good self-portraits by the end of the day. To top it all off, I forgot I had to lead Year 2 Art Club after school! I came up with something on the fly and it worked PERFECTLY! Take a look at what we did here. Luckily, my day ended on a good note, but I really hope next week is better, although we all know everyday is an adventure when you’re teaching art to children!

Thank goodness my weekend starts today! Be sure to check back next week when we finish these off with a background and some hair!

How do you cope with a chaotic class on your own? Tips? I need tips.

Check out Part 2 where we finish up.


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