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Grade: Elementary
Subject: Art

#3413. A Whole Unit on Myself

Art, level: Elementary
Posted Thu Feb 24 20:08:09 PST 2005 by Mrs. Mira Sarkar (
V.V.School, New Delhi, India
Materials Required: Variety of art materials
Activity Time: Approximately three months for the whole unit
Concepts Taught: External and Internal parts of the body

A Whole Unit on Myself
Class 1

I have some good ideas on how to teach it. A word here, a sentence on the Net and I could put it all together across disciplines.

Activity 1
I plan to start with self-portraits by the children in oil pastels. The Bulletin Board will have the lesson on it, a big face with four word labels for the external parts of the face – Hair, Eye, Nose, Mouth and Ears. These will be placed on one side of the face. More words will be placed on the opposite side of the face, specifically the long ones – Eyebrow, Eyeball, Nostril, Lip, Cheek and Chin. The first set of words will be for the students still learning to grasp the pencil, while the second set of words will be to challenge the advanced group.

The students will complete just the face and then will select colorful gummed labels to stick onto the background for labeling each part of the face. The gummed labels will be in two lengths and the students will estimate which label to use for each part. Here I was thinking of two concepts, sight word and estimating. As stated each student will decide how many parts they can label. The spelling of each word will be copied from the labels on the bulletin board. The background of the portraits will be done last. Here the concept ‘I am in front of…’ will be explained.

Activity 2
Worksheet Time! On the board will be written two sentences – I have two eyes, I have a nose. The students will be asked to respond verbally to I have… while the teacher points to the mouth, the ears and other parts. Question why the ‘s’ is added to some of the words and not the others, this will bring out the concept of plural words. Explain why it is a nose and not one nose. The students will then write the sentences on lined paper. For the creative ones challenge them to write ‘I have big eyes’ etc.

Activity 3

For the five senses we have down loaded pictures of eyes, nose, mouth, ears and hands on five pages. Within a bubble we have placed varied pictures for each sense. The students will select one image for a sense and delete the others. They will then type the word for that feature. The students will be taught to enlarge the images they like and move them to where they want them, while deleting the ones they don’t want.

Activity 4
Activities will be set up from the science lab in the alcove. Awareness of the different senses will be introduced to the group in a circle. Later these will be left in the alcove as learning centers.

Activity 5
In the music room varied metal rings will be provided in many sizes to help the students to differentiate between the sounds. Similarly one string instruments and drums made with cans and pots will help the students to be aware of differing sounds.

Activity 6
The ‘I’ concept is important in the unit on Myself. In the art room the students will create their name plaques. Clay slabs and coils for each student will be readied. They will be shown how to use clay slip between the slab and the coil and how to shape the letters with the fingers and how to fix the edges of the slab. Holes will be made in the plaque to help to hang them at home. Lastly they will paint these.

Activity 7
Now the students will learn the names of different parts of the external body. This will be started in the art room with movement of different parts of the body while they are being named. Then the students will lie down on carpets in the position they like to sleep in while the teacher observes and explains how some arms are bent at the elbows, some legs are bent at the knees, some backs are curved while some are straight. Next the students will be provided thick slabs as beds and they will make clay figures of themselves sleeping in their favorite position. Each part of the body will be created by the students as a group while I explain and demonstrate how to roll between the hands a little bit of clay for the head. Cubes will be demonstrated for the body, thick and thin coils for the arms, hands, legs and feet.

The students don’t always pinch the clay to the base very well, I find applying White Glue in places helps. The skill of painting these will be stressed to help with the small motor coordination and to achieve satisfaction from work done well.

Activity 8
The students will do full sheet paintings from looking at the clay models of themselves sleeping. I find this moving from 2D to 3D helps in spatial awareness.

Activity 9
The major activity at this point will be creating papier-mâché models of the inside of the body. As always I will show the 3D model of the organs from the science lab. Labels will be used for the main organs – brain, lung, heart, liver, stomach, small and large intestines. Each section will make the papier-mache models using boxes. The photographs of the models will explain the rest.

Mira Sarkar
Tuesday, December 23, 2003