As an art teacher I tend to remember my students by the artwork they create. Last year I was trying to come up with an art project that would help me get to know my students quicker. I developed what I decided to call a “Mind Map Self Portrait”. It was a lot of fun for my students and I learned a lot about their interests.
I had the students use a graphic organizer to map out their interests. You could create your own and have them fill it in. That’s what I did. A great resource for this is Kathy Schrock’sGuide for Educators. You can either create your own ideas or use one from the links she gives under graphic organizers. The students then used the interests they brainstormed about to complete their self portrait. I let them use metallic markers, colored pencils, pretty much any material that they were comfortable with for this project. These were drawn on 9 x 12 inch paper. Some students used dark construction paper so they could get some special effects. They also were allowed to use an overhead projector if they wanted to have another student trace their profile. I let them do this because some students feel less adequate at creating a self portrait. When they created their self portrait the students had to find a way to implement many of the words they had come up with from their mind map.
My students were middle school aged but this assignment could be used from the very young to even high school students. The students had fun figuring out how to make their self portrait meaningful and I had fun learning about my students. As you start the new school year maybe this will help you get to know your students better! Here are samples from my students. They are fun to look at and they all are different!