The Grade 5's are starting to finish up their self portraits and looking at this project over the last three years through the lens of my professional inquiry into Teaching For Artistic Behavior, it is striking how much more personal their work has become. The personalities of each artist shine through, and isn't that the point of a self portrait?
Though this is not "pure TAB" of course because the subject of a self portrait was given to them by yours truly as a part of a Who We Are PYP Unit, it is a long way from where I started this journey on 2014. A few of my early finishers were given an opportunity to have a go at the collage center or the drawing center and some were absolutely stumped when given no guidance about what to create.
In that regard, there is still work to do.
I overheard a few of the kids commenting about how happy they were with the ability to use "anything we want." They were heavily influenced by each other (very authentic creative collaborations) and most were keen to share their new discoveries with their classmates as they were happening. Many of them jumped back and forth between digital and traditional tools which was really fascinating to see considering I just introduced them to both ArtSetPro and Baazart a month ago. They are digital natives indeed.
The central idea of this project was: "Self portraits send a message about who the artist is or what he/she wants to be." I love that the students were so free to interpret this however they wanted and the journey was evident through their reflections, which are based on the Studio Habits of Mind.
Here is one sample reflection from a student who made himself a vampire: