Teachingartonthecheap's Blog

First Grade: Pet Portraits

Posted on: February 2, 2010

Creative Reuse Lesson Plan         First Grade: Families

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

Family Pet Portraits

Cost per student: $.07 (the includes the oil pastels)

Materials: Oil pastels, thick paper, book about pets for reference, pencils

Optional: wire, bells, mat board samples

Students will create a portrait of a family pet they currently have, wish to have or used to own.

Elements of art: Color, shape, texture

Vocabulary: pet, portrait

1. Gather the students;  I read a book to them that showed a variety of children with their pets. We talked about pets that were not featured in the book, and how pets can be part of a family. We talked about what animals were possible pets and which might not make a good pet (rhino, gorilla, etc.).  I asked every kid to think of pet their family has now, a pet they used to have, or a pet they want to have someday.

2. Back at their seats, they used pencils to draw a pet on their square of paper. We talked about drawing it BIG (tiny little details don’t lend themselves to oil pastels). I gave them about 8 minutes to work out a drawing. I also mentioned adding something under the pet to divide up the space, like a line representing the grass or carpet or something so it wasn’t just floating in space.

3. Students filled in their pet portraits with oil pastels. Stress smooth, consistent color application to avoid a scribbly finish.

4. During the next art lesson, which also incorporated review, we used 2 L shaped mat board samples and old misprinted labels to stick them together into a frame for their pictures. Most kids also chose a wire to make a collar for their pet.

5. I pre-poked holes in all of their portraits using a pencil over a piece of foam (so it could poke through cleanly). Students chose a bead or a bell, and strung it on the wire, then poked the ends through their page, sticking the ends down with a misprinted label on the back of their portrait. The odd fish or lizard wearing a collar looked pretty cute.

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