Wow! August has come and gone (without a single post), and I've just finished my fourth week of school. Saying that I've been super-busy doesn't even cut it, but all you teachers our there know what I mean!
It's still back-to-school time somewhere, so I'm sharing something I enjoy doing with my class at the beginning of a new year - I love to have students create self-portraits. Today I'm highlighting some wonderful picture books that build a sense of community, celebrate diversity and encourage students to embrace their individuality when creating a self-portrait.
First up is What I Like about Me by Allia Zobel Nolan
rhyme and word choice makes it an appealing read aloud.
The Colors of Us by Karen Katz celebrates the rich diversity of people's skin tones in a playful way Katz draws comparisons to foods and flavors like cinnamon, caramel, and chocolate. I love that this book draws attention to different skin tones in a way that makes each shade as valuable as the next- so positive!
The story starts out with a little girl explaining that her artist mother teaches her that there are many shades of brown, and the colors are fun to explore.
The little girl describes the beauty of her friends', neighbors' and family members' skin tones through out the book.
This culminates in an exhibit of sorts, "the colors of us!"
All the Colors of the Earth by Sheila Hamanaka has a similar approach, however, the book's rhyming text is much shorter and more poetic. The illustrations are glorious- rich and warm!
From the beginning, the author communicates a message of love and acceptance for all children,
families of different races. As a mother of biracial children, I really appreciate this one for the message it sends, that of love and validation. This book has been around for a while, and fortunately there are much more like it being published nowadays (that certainly wasn't the case when my son was small).
Pain is pain, and joy is joy no matter who you are or where you're from!
If you teach at a PYP school, all of these books work well when discussing the learner profile attribute open-minded and attitudes appreciation, respect and tolerance.
After sharing these picture books during the first few days of school, I used a resource from Deep Space Sparkle to help my students create multi-media collage self-portraits. My students loved making it!
They were so thoughtful about choosing the colors and materials for their portraits (we didn't have enough yarn for the hair, so we used felt- that was challenging to cut!!!) I passed out mirrors so they could take a closer look at themselves. It's always so interesting to see how students see themselves.
Do you have students make self-portraits? How do you do them?