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Lesson Plans » Looking into my Life Lesson Plan

Looking into my Life Lesson Plan


Getting started 
  • Students/teacher need to determine which version of the collage they will make. Favorite or Painted. 
Taking student pictures

Take a digital photograph of each students.

  • The student should be standing in front of a light colored wall. 
  • The photo needs to be just the back of their head and shoulders. 
  • Be sure to keep the size of your paper in mind when taking the photograph. 
  • The photographs can be printed on a standard black and white printer and will not be needed until closer to the end of the project.
  • Depending on what version of the project you have decided on, have the child hold either a pencil (collage of favorites) or a paint brush (painted masterpiece) as if they were drawing/painting on the wall. 
Favorites Collage
  1. Have each child make a list of “favorites” on a piece of scratch paper.
    • Topics might include favorite number, season, food, color, animal, sport, saying or thing to draw. 
    • Please be aware that copyrighted or trademarked symbols/characters cannot be reproduced.
  2. In a column next to each favorite item have the children develop an artistic symbol to represent their ideas.
  3. Speak about composition and collage.
    • Explain that they will need to use a ruler to draw the pane of a window around the border of their sheet of paper.
    • Ensure that the borders are at least 1” wide. 
  4. Inside the window pane they will be arranging their items in a collage fashion.
    • Draw items using pencil and remind students to keep important drawings away from the lower center of their frame.
    • Use the following techniques when arranging the items; overlapping, being partially “covered” by the frame, repetition, angling and size variation. 
  5. When the collage is complete, children will color their picture using the medium of their choice.
    • Remind them to color the frame and the background.
Painted Masterpiece
  1. Have each child make a list of places that they would like to visit and why.
    • Discuss their lists and reasons. 
    • What are some of the reasons someone might paint a particular scene? 
    • Was the artist really there or was it from their imagination?
  2. Children should pick the place from their list that they wish to paint. 
  3. Speak about composition and perspective.
    • Explain the concept of “dividing” your masterpiece into three areas – the background, the middle ground and the foreground. 
  4. Sketch, in pencil, on the heavy white paper.
    • The artist should fill in the entire sheet of paper with their sketch.
    • Remind students to keep important parts of their drawings away from the lower center of their page. 
    • Speak with the students about adding an “object of interest” to their sketches…a large palm tree or a waterfall would be great for a tropical scene or a cactus in a desert scene. 
  5. Once the sketches have been approved the artist should fill in their page with color utilizing either watercolor or tempera paints.
    • Stress the use of bright bold colors.
    • Let dry completely. 
Add Student Photos
  1. Distribute the painted photos of the back of each child’s head. Instruct them how to use a fine tip marker to trace the strands of their hair.
      • Discuss how to find where strands begin and end.
      • Students should not outline their heads. 
      • Students should also outline and accentuate lines on their shirts. 
      • Optionally, students may design the back of their shirts to represent something about themselves. 
      • Discuss the shirt design will “fall off” the page. 
      • You may also do a watercolor wash on the hair at this time – if you choose to do so, you will need to use permanent marker for the lines of the hair. 
  2. Finally, children will cut out their photo of the back of their head and glue to the bottom edge of the paper.
      • The photo will more than likely cover up a portion of their artwork – this will help to create a feeling of depth. 
      • If students have not incorporated their name within their collage, they should do so now.
Special thanks to Jayme Martin, Art Educator @ Superior, CO for sharing this lesson plan.

Age Group

Grades 4-8




  • 8 1/2″ x 11″ white art paper
  • digital camera
  • computer
  • black & white printer
  • heavy white paper
  • colored felt tip markers
  • black thin tip markers
  • glue
  • coloring supplies (colored pencils, markers, crayons, etc.)
  • rulers
  • scissors
  • watercolor paint (optional)
  • tempera paint (optional)


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