Teachingartonthecheap's Blog

First Grade: 3-D Portrait Collage

Posted on: December 30, 2009

Creative Reuse Lesson Plan         First Grade: Families

Written by Keri Piehl for SCRAP /Whitman ES 2009-10

3-D portrait of family member

Cost per student: $.07

Materials: My dog is as smelly as dirty socks : and other funny family portraits / by Hanoch Piven, , paper in flesh tones (I have a ton of paint sample cards that are about 3”x4”), lots of collage materials that fit the scale of your project (beads, yarn, caps, screws, plastic doodads, leftover bits, wallpaper scraps etc), bottles of white glue, 5”x7” colored cardstock for backing (I’m using some that is printed on the back leftover from an event), scissors.

Students will create a portrait of a family member out of found objects, repurposing the objects for facial features.

Elements of art: shape, texture, form

Vocabulary: portrait, collage

1. Gather the students where they can all see the illustrations in the book. Read it aloud and have students raise their hands to identify the items the illustrator used to create artworks for each family member. The book is repetitive, so it might be okay to read half now and then read it all the way through after most kids are cleaned up at the end of the lesson.

2. Explain that students will be creating a collage portrait of someone in their own families, much like the artwork in the book. Have them think of someone in their family, and have students suggest who might make a good portrait subject (mom? Step dad? Cousin? Grandma?). A portrait is simply a picture of a person where the face and expression are the main focus.

3. Have them choose a paint sample to become the basis of the face of the family member. They can choose a color they think is accurate or one that artistically represents the person (yellow since they are cheerful etc.) Show them how to round off the edges into an oval or a circle. I may have two selections of paint samples to choose from; some that the kids can cut themselves and some that are already ovals to help with kids who are not comfortable with scissors. Have them choose a backer paper and place the “head” sort of in the middle so there is space to add detail around it. When they have a good feel for it, show them how to trace a glue frame with a bottle of glue to apply a thin line of adhesive, then stick it. I am going to collect the glue bottles at this point.

4. When most students are done with this step, then you can get out the bins of collage materials and have them start to choose facial features. Have them place different combinations on the face until they feel good about their choices. Walk around the room and engage them in conversation to see if they can figure out what the items are or what they might have been in their former life. At this point, they could get up and get a glue bottle to start gluing their collage pieces in place. This will avoid kids gluing one thing at a time, changing their minds and putting gluey bits back in my bins, making a clot of collage bits in each bin, yuck.

5. Have them lay their portraits somewhere to dry. At the beginning of the next lesson, we will label them with the identity of the person in the portrait and the date it was made, and discuss why such labeling might be beneficial to the artwork 10 or 20 years in the future. You could also reglue any loose parts at that time.


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