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I am the studio teacher in Zach's Place Studio, an AMS Montessori teacher, an artist, a mother and much more.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

self portraits- week 21 and 22

Observing the children over the past few weeks as they worked with oil pastels, I noticed an emerging interest in self portraits. The students were drawing alot of pictures of themselves and things that happened to them. In an informal conversation I asked them if they would like to do more self portraits in the studio. They literally yelled, "YES!" and so we have. We began by looking at our refelctions in mirrors of varying sizes and talking about our faces while pointing to our eyes, ears, mouth and nose. We have taken some time getting orienting. Where exactly is our head located? On our neck, above the torso. And where are our hands in relation to our shoulders and arms, etc. These identifying conversations coupled with the kinesthetic component of touching the named body part have helped the children in their desire to represent themselves with two dimensional media. As we use the oil pastels to color, we talk about skin tones and how we can blend several shades to find a color similar to our own. We match pastels to our hair and eyes and proceed from there. The children really enjoy this process and it is a great opportunity to scaffold their representational abilities and to further our explorations of water soluble oil pastels (a favorite in the studio). Also, teachers are preparing to present self portraits in the classrooms in preperation for conferences and our studio experiments will support the classroom goals. Next week, we will continue these explorations before closing the studio for a week to celebrate SPRING!!

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