Grade 1 Reflects on Personal Histories in Family Portraits

In their homeroom classes the Grade 1 students studied how family history provides insight into one’s own personal identity. So in art class the students reflected on their classroom discussions and then drew and painted and colored their self-/family-portraits. In this unit — focused on the concept of REFLECTION — each student developed the background of his/her picture by adding imagery from the memory of family events or from knowledge of his/her family’s history. In the foreground of each student’s picture is their own self-portrait, drawn & painted from observation, using mirrors.

See the students at work, above, reflecting on their own family histories and attempting to depict them through various processes: drawing from observation, drawing realistically, practicing mixing new colors, and depicting details so that the audience can understand the stories and events.

Created in response to a range of stimuli (photos, storybooks, conversations, sharing of personal experiences), students made personal connections to their artworks as they developed. The task proved challenging as the students had to reflect — on their inquiries in the homeroom class and at home with parents — to determine how to represent, visually, what they envision in their minds and what they can discuss verbally.

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