Back-to-School Self-Portrait - Encourage creative expression and self-identity as students learn about one another!

Back-to-School Self-Portrait 30 minutes
An Activity for School-Age Children

  • Critical Thinking – Using portraits as an art form to encourage the critical thinking skills of planning, organization, and construction.
  • Creative Thinking – Creatively making representations of their personal appearance, including face shape, hair, and features

Before You Start:
Gather a large variety of materials so that children are free to express themselves through their portraits as creatively as they like. Provide yarn, construction paper (including paper in skin tones, if available), wiggly eyes, crayons, markers, pipe cleaners, scissors, glue, etc.

Let's Begin:

Cut a face shape out of construction paper and glue the face onto another sheet of construction paper.
Cut pieces of yarn for hair and glue the yarn to the top of the head or allow the children to use construction paper or other materials to create hair.
After talking about the facial features that might appear in a portrait, use wiggly eyes, construction paper, markers and any other craft materials to create a self-portrait. Children should be allowed to use any available materials for their project (e.g., they can use construction paper to create eyes instead of using the pre-made wiggly eyes, etc.).

Creating self-portraits provides an opportunity to learn about portraits as an art form, and to explore identity and self-concept. In the extra space surrounding their portraits, children may write out or draw images of their hobbies and interests, date of birth, names or anything else significant.

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