1st Grade examines themselves and their families through portraiture

In their homeroom classes, the first graders are examining how one’s family history provides insight into one’s own personal identity. And so in art class, we have discussed who are family members are and why they are important to us, and then the students began this unit by drawing family portraits from their memories and their knowledge of their families.

Then the students helped one another to trace their bodies onto large mural paper, the first step in creating a large-scale self-portrait, one which will eventually become a visual diary (or journal or record or landscape) of each person’s family history and also a particular view onto the students’ identities, at least as each one perceives it. Along the way, students will not only learn about drawing and about how to depict the human face but also about taking risks in doing things differently than before, about inquiring into oneself and one’s family, and about reflecting on one’s and one’s own family’s experiences.

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