Grade 1 Reflects on Personal Histories in Family Portraits

In their homeroom classes the Grade 1 students studied how one’s family history provides insight into one’s own personal identity, and in art class the students drew and then painted their self-/family-portraits. For this “Where We Are In Place And Time” 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 from observation with mirrors.

See the students at work, below, 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 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.

See the students’ completed artwork below. Each student used his/her portrait as a talking point during the recent Parent-Sharing to discuss his/her personal family history.

Grade 1 Reflects on Personal Histories in Family Portraits

In their homeroom classes the 1st graders studied how one’s family history provides insight into one’s own personal identity, and in art class the students drew and then painted their self-/family-portraits. For this “Where We Are In Place And Time” unit, 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 from observation.

See the students at work, below, shortly before the completion of these family portraits. Moms and dads even came one day (during Action Portfolio Week) to observe and help out!

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 determine how to represent, visually, what they envision in their minds and what they can discuss verbally.

See the students’ completed artwork below. Each student used his/her portrait as a talking point during the recent Student-Led Conferences to discuss his/her personal family history.

1st Graders’ Family Portraits

In their homeroom classes the 1st graders studied how one’s family history provides insight into one’s own personal identity, and in art class the students drew and then painted their self-/family-portraits. 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.

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 determine how to represent, visually, what they envision in their minds and what they can discuss verbally.

See the students at work, below, shortly before the completion of these family portraits. Each student used his/her portrait as a talking point during the Student Led Conferences to discuss his/her personal family history.

1st Graders complete their Family Portraits

In their homeroom classes the 1st graders studied how one’s family history provides insight into one’s own personal identity, and the students finished drawing & painting their self-/family-portraits. 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. The task proved challenging as the students had to determine how to represent, visually, what they envision in their minds and can discuss verbally.

See the students’ artwork, below, shortly before the completion of these family portraits. Or, if you would like to hear some examples — in the students’ own voices — of their family histories, click on the Twitter feed to the right and select the students whose comments you would like to hear (scroll down until you find the student you’re looking for).

First graders continue working on their self (& family) portraits

Continuing on with the first graders’ homeroom study of how one’s family history provides insight into one’s own personal identity, the students are continuing to move forward with their family portraits — first, by creating a large, life-size, half-body self-portrait painting.

Soon, these self-portraits will become family portraits as the students begin to add images from their memory of family events or from their knowledge of their family history (which they are discussing with Ms. Robidoux and Ms. Saito).  In the meantime, the students come to realize that the seemingly simple act of drawing oneself has many complexities and challenges, as does the process of mixing the paint in one’s palette to create the desired tones for skin and hair. They continue to 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.