Room 109 is exploring the question “Who Am I.” This is a very important concept on how the students perceive themselves and how others see them also. The students wrote bio-poems in the classroom which are 10 line poems that express personal factors used to label themselves or describe their identity. In the art room the students created both self-portraits from photographs and ceramic 3-D self-portrait sculptures. This led to the final self-portrait based on a writing assignment in class that was called “Real Me / My Alter Ego”. After writing phrases and sentences to describe themselves, hobbies, strengths and weaknesses the students envisioned themselves in the future with imaginary or superhuman traits and qualities.
This student chose her smiling photo (below) as the basis for her self portrait. The students could choose from their serious or smiling photo for this project.
This fifth grader chose her serious photo. Even though the enlargement of the photocopy cut off the top of her head, she still continued to draw it in even extending her drawing into the photo portion of the project.
After drawing their self-portraits, we wanted the students to explore the concept of identity through a different medium. We also wanted them to create a 3-D art work. We chose clay and as exciting as the students found it to be they also discovered how challenging it is to manipulate and shape it.
This fifth grader shapes her self-portrait in the photo above while below she shows Monica Skylas her glaze work on the completed head.
These students had to start over several times before achieving the head shapes that are shown in the photo. At this stage, these two boys have molded the neck and head of their self portrait and will continue to add the facial details.
Continuing with the theme of identity, in class each student brainstormed and wrote two lists for the categories: The Real Me and My Alter Ego. First, the students listed characteristics to describe themselves such as oldest of five, play basketball, eat hamburgers. For the alter ego portion, students used their imagination to write about what they wanted to be such as actress, NBA star, etc.
Then Ellen came to the classroom and had the students begin a self-portrait based on their writings. Students were given a blank paper head which they divided it in half and then using a wide variety of materials and symbols, they created a mixed media self-portrait.
The 5th graders read a realistic fiction novel entitled Esparanza Rising. As we read, we focused on culture and how internal and external changes can affect a person. As a culminating activity the students drew a “before” and an “after” profile of the main character, Esparanza.
Student cuts and glues her “real me” and “alter ego” images to create her self-portrait.
This students wants to be a Chicago Bulls player in his “alter ego” self-portrait.
When creating these self-portraits, students could use a variety of materials so it became a mixed media piece. This student uses oil pastel, colored pencils and textured papers.