Challenging Grade One Students

….I was hesitant to teach this lesson to the little ones

How much can grade one students do? How far can I push them to try something new and something somewhat difficult? I found out today.

I thought I would try teaching my class how to draw portraits from photos. This was actually an assignment that I was given this week in Carla Sonheim’s on-line class Y is for Yellow.

I printed up several photos of some famous contemporary artists, including Picasso, Dali, Frida Kahlo and Warhol. I showed the class very quickly how to use the negative space around the photo to start drawing and how to lay out some points on the paper to help guide the pencil from one area to another.

Most of the students were very excited about starting and many of them chose to draw Dali. One student, however, was not happy with the assignment and didn’t even want to start it. I asked her what she was going to do because this was the assignment. After a few minutes and some gentle encouragement she asked me if I would help her. She chose the Andy Warhol photo to copy and I helped her with placing some of the key points onto her paper. Once she started she quickly found success. Here are a few examples of their work:

Pablo Picasso

Salvador Dali

Frida Kahlo

Andy Warhol

14 thoughts on “Challenging Grade One Students

  1. Wow. They’re absolutely incredible and so beautiful. I am a superlative kind of person and really wish I could draw better although what with writing, photography and playing violin I am pretty occupied.
    In your post, you talked about using the white space and I’d appreciate it if you could elaborate on that. Sounds like a great tip.
    I had quite an epiphany about white space when I was helping out in my son’s class when he was in Kindergarten and just learning to write. His teacher kept referring to leaving a finger space inbetween the words and this struck me as good advice for life where we need to leave space and rest inbetween activities and the busyness of things xx Rowena

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Pingback: If a first grader can draw portraits so can I and . . . so can YOU! | Curious to the MAX

  3. Pingback: Challenging Grade One Students | beyondtheflow

  4. I am fascinated with that exercise! So happy you managed to help that girl! Tell her (and all the others) that those are fantastic and very interresting! 🙂 The one I like the most is the middle one of Dali! That student has a stong character! 🙂 But all the others have also a je-ne-sais-quoi! Yééééé for your class! 🙂
    Hélène Villeneuve aka Merlinprincesse aka Clara Moopsie! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  5. People think that drawing is some magical talent that gets handed out in our DNA. But it really is just a teachable skill. Look at how well first graders did with one lesson. Its just a learned skill that takes practice to be come good.

    We might not all achieve the artistic genius, but we can all learn draw. It is just a skill.


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