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Compare and Connect: How do artists express themselves through self portraits? (Ready to Go Resource)

Ready-to-go resources are short, flexible learning activities that center art as texts. In “Compare and Connect” students use a guiding question to compare works of art within the context of a shared theme and produce brief writing examples. The activities are presented in google slide decks with teaching notes to make classroom implementation easy.

Fosso's Self Portrait (SM 18) and McIver's Truly Grateful

Guiding Question: How do artists express themselves in their self portraits?

Featuring Samuel Fosso’s Self Portrait (SM 18) and Beverly McIver’s Tippy Toes

Make your own copy! Check the slide notes for the teacher’s guide.

Total Activity Pacing: 30 min, split over 2 days. 

Pacing: 1 min

Grade(s): 6-8


Activity Overview:

  • In this Compare and Connect activity, students will explore two artworks where the artists expressed themselves through self-portraits (pictures of themselves). Through discussion and writing, students will explore the idea of why artists put themselves in the artwork and create self portraits. The artworks will serve as an inspiration for an ELA writing piece where students will write about how the the artist expressed themselves in their self portrait. 
  • In Day One: Discuss, students will look at the two artworks and share what they notice in the artwork. Students will look at how the artists might express themselves in the images and discuss if we can get a better understanding of the artist through the artworks. Students can share their thoughts and opinions in small groups or partner shares.
  • In Day Two: Write, students will choose one artwork and write an explanatory piece about how the artist expressed themselves in the artwork.