As we do every year, we just had the Little People make their “self portraits” in circle form. They turned out really cute this year:
And this year, all of them are riding on the bus! My instructional aide made this bulletin board display, and I just love it. All the Little People are on the bus (and the all the teachers are hanging out above the bus).
While I love this project enough to do it every year, I have to admit that sometimes I struggle with projects like these. I am such a believer in true Creative Art (process, not product), that I often want my students just to do their own their thing with any art-type project. However, at the same time, it is really nice when these self-portraits come out actually looking like faces. Plus, there is also the idea of teaching the Little People to follow teacher directions, which is actually huge with my Special Education preschoolers. Helping them become good learners is what we’re all about in my room. So, what’s a preschool teacher to do?
After much consideration, I have kind of come down in the middle. We have some projects that we do where it is true Creative Art – they do just as they wish, and teachers need to be completely hands off when they are working. And there are some projects where we work more on following directions.
In this particular case, we provided this stencil for those students that were likely to just scribble over the circle, despite our best directions of, “Okay, make two eyes. One…two…”
When placed over the circle (face), we could still talk through the project about how the face needed two eyes, etc., but could at least direct the student to where the eyes needed to be.
You might notice that we don’t have other facial features in the stencil. The eyes are enough, and then we let the rest of the face take shape as they wish. Which means that you get faces looking like this from some first-year students, but that’s okay:
Because we also often get these kind of faces from our second-year students:
It’s kind of the best of all worlds – a little direction, a little creativity, and a little eventual development all at the same time.