I know, only a face a mother could love, right? Usually first pictures include stringy hair for and jack-o-lantern noses.  This year, I wanted to focus on how to make our faces look a little more like us.

I had children use mirrors to help them draw self-portraits of themselves at the beginning of first grade.  I kept these portraits in student portfolios, in the hopes of being able to teach children how to draw a face using fractions by the end of the year.


It’s amazing how the math curriculum has changed over the years.  Children are learning key concepts at much earlier ages than when I was a kid (we won’t discuss when that actually was).  They get basic fractions as part of their math time, and I wanted to make sure to touch on this concept in art, providing a link between the two subjects.  Personally, I do more math now as an art teacher than any other time in my life, so I feel we should just scrap math altogether and do art, but that’s just me.

So, without the mirrors, we made faces. We started with the basic oval shape, and the proceeded to cut it into halves, then quarters, and made our faces look a little more proportional and a little more realistic.  This photo is of the same student as above, after the lesson.


Students really had a lot of fun, and they really got into it when I gave them a mirror and asked them to include more details, such as earrings, glasses, or barrettes.IMG_7507


Amazingly, this little boy sometimes looks like this.  Very pale, very tired, with dark circles under his eyes.  He’s old, and he’s only six.






The thing I like about these self portraits is that all the students focused on different things, and all of them contain something interesting. It got personal.


After I finished this lesson, it was time to start doing some weaving.  I usually do weaving at the end of the year, simply because of time, and because I’ve stored up a lot of paper scraps by now and need to purge them from my room.

I found this great idea from Ms. Torres’ Art Room.

It fit in perfectly with what students had just learned about drawing their faces. Students were taught how to weave following a plain weave pattern.  After they finished their blanket, they needed to draw themselves again, this time with eyes closed.  They then added details such as stuffed animals, pillows, or a dream bubble to show how they sleep.


Fellow teachers and some parents called these “Children in Sleeping Bags.” I call them cute.

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About Sonia Chapman

I am an art teacher, living in the Middle East, following my passion for art, teaching little children about the finer things in life, and loving every bit of it.




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