Ms. German’s sixth grade class focused on the main character in the book “A Child Called It”, emotionally charged, true story of David, a victim of child abuse.
Mood, empathy and character traits were all a part of the character study.
The unit on portraits began with a study of the self-portraits by Frida Kahlo, paying close attention to the emotions expressed in facial expressions.Afterwards, students created their first self-portrait. To better understand how facial features convey emotions, students matched a list of emotions with photographs of only eyes or mouths.

Student #1

Cierra self portrait 1

Cierra’s first self-portrait before any discussions and lessons on drawing the human head and facial features

Cierra self portrait 2During the integrated art sessions, Ms. Moore and Ms. T taught students how to draw their self-portraits. Placement and position of facial features were discussed and demonstrated. Not only were students asked to draw themselves, but we asked them to add another layer to their art work by drawing themselves with some of the physical attributes of the main character of David.





Student #2

Andre self portrait 1

Andre’s first self-portrait drawn prior to learning the techniques of face drawing in the art sessions

Andre self portrait 2David is the main character of the novel and he is an abused child. The students




Student #3

self portrait 1

In her first self-portrait Kashara drew herself wearing her glasses.

self portrait 2



Sixth graders carving their block prints.


Lessons on proportions and facial details prepared students for their second portrait. Students were asked to put themselves in David, the main character’s place and write how you would be feeling. Then they were asked to do a self-portrait as if they were David, and focusing on the mood and emotions shown on the face. This drawing was transferred to a soft-cut for carving. Finally, students pulled two prints of their drawing.


Student #1

Cierra self portrait 3

Student #2

Andre self portrait 3

Student #3

self portrait 3


The sixth grade class wrote extensively about the main character: his traits, his appearance, his feelings. They were also given a lesson on abstract expressionism: and how line and color can be used to express emotion. Students were asked to fold their drawing paper into a folio to create two final self-portraits. On the outside, they were asked to complete a second self-portrait, using the outside to draw themselves as David, the way his classmates, his parents, and his teachers saw him. Using a color and line guide, students created portrait in the abstract expressionist style showing David’s inner feelings.
The sixth graders also had a writing prompt for an argumentative essay. after completing the writing, the students chose imagery to represent their side. They created a symbol or scene in scratch art.

Student #1

Cierra self portrait 4a

Cierra drew herself as the main character David in the way that the other characters in the novel would have seen David

Cierra self portrait 4b


Student #2

Andre self portrait 4aAndre self portrait 4b

Student #3

self portrait 4a

self portrait 4bice cubes

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