Day 3: Self Portraits!

Today Madeline taught the students how to make a self-portrait for their “license to time travel.” During morning “circle up” at the front of the classroom, the students each had an opportunity to share with the class where they would go if they could time travel to any place in time or space. They had some very creative answers- one student said “South Africa,” another said Egypt and a few students expressed a desire to go back in time to when they were born. After the circle up, Madeline introduced the concept of a “self-portrait” and demonstrated techniques to use when drawing or painting a human face. Pointing to the top of her oval-shape, she would ask “does my nose go…here?” Answered with a resounding “NO!” Madeline would then describe how to map out different facial features: the ends of the mouth line up with the center of the eyes, etc.

Some students still had work to do on thier Time Travel Hats and began working on those right away. There was a table designated for hat making and the students all did a great job sharing space and materials.


Other students began immediately working on their Self Portaits. This student chose to draw her portrait first with pencil, later mixing and applying paint to add color.

This student also chose to draw with pencil first, explaining her reasoning when she said “I can make mistakes with pencil and just erase them. If I used markers I wouldnt be able to fix it.”

This student is using a technique Madeline taught the class earlier, using line to map out features on her face. Here she is connecting her two oval-shaped eyes with a straight line.


Other students chose to dive right into the project using paint. This student was very excited about color mixing, helping the others at her table create a “tan” color to use for the face.

This student used line to mimick text at the bottom of his picture. He explained that he had seen a license before and there were words underneath the picture. Drawing in words at the bottom would make his license more “realistic.”

A few students chose to use stencils to decorate their drawings. This student would trace a shape and later add details of his own.


This student first used blue marker to add color to his hat. He did not like the way it looked, it was “too light,” so he came up with a solution to the problem: using blue paint instead. Satisfied with his results, he continued using paint for the rest of the drawing as well.

After the students were finished working on their Self Portraits, they focused on a new task: some built creative objects with plastic connecting peices while others used modeling clay to create three dimensional forms. Below is an example of one student using her imagination to create little creatures with her pink modeling clay. She also formed representational objects such as bowls with spoons, a bed and a cradle with a baby. Another student formed a nest, later adding smooth, round eggs to place inside.

The students had a lot of fun today painting their Self Portraits and exploring some new materials!

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