“I’m coffee colored and I have a nice smile!”

It’s one of my favorite times of year in the Pre-K Studio… self portrait week!  Friends in Pre-K work on a self portrait for their portfolio at the beginning and the end of each school year.  It’s great to see how much their observations and skills change over the course of the year, and for children that are in Pre-K for two years, over the span of both years.  We began by reading The Colors of Us by Karen Katz and talked a little about different shades of skin, eyes, hair, etc.

Next, I showed some different techniques for selecting colors that closely matched the colors that were unique to each of them.  Children selected colors that they thought would work after observing themselves in the mirror, and held them up next to their hands, hair, etc. to see which color would be the best.

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Amal: I look beautiful!

Nazeer: My skin is a toast color.

Waju: I’m making my head an oval.  My skin is pancake color and my eyes are a little bit blue.  I look nice!  I’m drawing myself holding the pencil.  Wait, why do I kind of look like a huge potato?

Anders: Don’t forget your belly button.

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Autumn: Oh my!  I’m looking at myself.  Hi Autumn!  I see that I’m so hairy.  I have more than one hair on my head.

Isabella: I’m the color of spice.

Isaac: I’m coffee colored and I have a nice smile!

Konone: My eyes are dark brown like midnight brown.

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Phoenix: I’m chocolate brown and Autumn is chocolate brown too!

Mateo: I even want to draw my stinky feet.

Leonel: When you look in the mirror there’s another you.  My head looks so big because I have a big brain.

Gionni: My skin is brown like a brown  bear.

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Sophia: I’m sand colored.

Eden: I’m making mine silly and drawing my tongue!

Jax: I’m just like you… I have eyelashes too!

Aurora: I see my two ponytails.

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Here are some of the finished self portraits from our week!

 

Observing Darian’s Self Portraits

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At CCPCS, Pre-K classrooms are mixed age  (3-5 years old).  Children remain in the same classroom for two years before moving up to Kindergarten.  It has been exciting to see our Pre-K 3’s from last year transition into a leadership role as a Pre-K 4 this school year.  One part that has been particularly interesting for me to see is the progress they have made with their self portraits.

Self portraits are a key part of Pre-K portfolios.  Children add to portfolios throughout the year and share them with their families at their final conference of the school year.  During the first few weeks of school, children observe their reflections in a mirror and draw what they see.  It’s exciting to compare their portraits at the end of the year with those from the beginning, and to revisit work from the previous year.

Above are Darian’s self portraits, beginning with his work from Fall 2012, followed by Spring 2013 and finally, his most recent self portrait from Fall 2013!  He was just as proud of his growth as I was.