Everyday People, Everyday Things: Book of Your Life Lesson Plan Grades 3-5
Often artists make self-portraits and use their artwork to reflect upon their own lives and experiences. This activity will help students illustrate and identify their future selves, by reflecting upon their past and present lives, as well as imagining their futures.
National Language Arts Standard 3
Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts. They draw on their prior experience, their interactions with other readers and writers, their knowledge of word meaning and of other texts, their word identification strategies, and their understanding of textual features (e.g., sound-letter correspondence, sentence structure, context, graphics).
National Language Arts Standard 4
Students adjust their use of spoken, written, and visual language (e.g., conventions, style, vocabulary) to communicate effectively with a variety of audiences and for different purposes.
- Reflect upon their own lives and experiences as well as imagine their future selves.
- Create a fictional and factual autobiography.
- Share their autobiography with other students by reading it aloud.
- lined writing paper
- 'Self Portrait' reproducible
- Demetrius Oliver, Tracks, 2003/2005
- Samuel Fosso, Self Portrait, 1976
- Corrine L. Thomas, Peace and Love Skater Girl, 2007
- Crayons, markers, pencils, mixed media (magazine images, fabric scraps, other tactile materials)
SET UP AND PREPARE
- Print out copies of "Self Portrait" reproducible
- Hand out multiple sheets of lined writing paper to each student (students can also use their own lined paper from their notebooks)
- Prepare to view images and discuss the definition of a 'self portrait' and an 'autobiography'.
- Demetrius Oliver, Tracks, 2003/2005 (PDF)
- Samuel Fosso, Self Portrait, 1976 (PDF)
- Corrine L. Thomas, Peace and Love Skater Girl, 2007 (PDF)
'Book of Your Life'
- As a class, discuss what comprises an 'autobiography'. Discuss the reasons why one would want to create an autobiography.
- View the images. Talk about what is a 'self portrait'. References should be made about the similarities in the intentions of creating an 'autobiography' and a 'self-portrait'. Discussion should be encouraged on the various ways one might visually represent themselves, i.e. through symbolism, abstract expression, etc. What can we tell about artists by looking at their portraits? How does their choice of medium effect the results?
- Have students think about their own lives. They should brainstorm the various elements of their life they would want highlighted (ex. place and date of birth, family background, education). They should also imagine their future selves, by taking their current dreams and aspirations and imagining their accomplishment. Use blackboard and flip charts to record the students brainstorming, and key words as a reference for later activity. To further assist students for later activity, create a list of topics that all of their autobiographies must have.
Create an autobiography
- Give each student a copy of the 'Self Portrait' reproducible, and the lined writing paper.
- Instruct students to begin writing their autobiography. Remind students to use words and ideas listed from the group brainstorming as appropriate.
- After writing their autobiography, students should take what they have written and use it as inspiration for their self portrait. Using the self-portrait reproducible, have students create a self portrait using the provided materials. Rather than only drawing themselves, students should be encouraged to include something in their self portrait that will tell others about who they are, what they like to do, or where they live.
- Have students arrange written pages, along with self portrait (as book cover), and staple books together.
- Have students exchange and read each others autobiographies. Students can then share aloud, one thing that they learned about a classmate from the autobiography with the rest of the class.