First grade students began the year by studying how artists approach self-portraits. The class read the book The Many Faces of the Face and described how all of our faces are different, including their color, shape, and expression.
Students then created a collage self-portrait by using a mirror and cut pieces of paper. The class then read another story by Ezra Keats titled Jennie’s Hat. In the book Jennie gets a hat from her aunt that she dislikes because it is too plain. At the end, birds come to decorate her hat with all types of flowers and found materials, and Jennie is left with the most beautiful hat she has ever seen.
Following the story students each created their own plain hat. We discussed different paper sculpture techniques that they could use to decorate their hat and make it as special as Jennies. Once the hat was complete students added it to their self-portrait.