Thursday, September 10, 2009

Drawing - Emotions

In this project, the children play along with you, recognizing different emotions and recording the facial changes they observe. For ages 6 to 9. Plan 1 session. 


KEY IDEAS
  • Recognizing emotions
  • Learning information for depicting emotions
  • Using careful observation
LANGUAGE
outline, emotions

YOU WILL NEED
  • White paper approximately 7 inches square
  • Black markers
  • Access to the children before class to have them draw the outline of their faces
  • Access to a photocopier to make four prints of each child’s facial outline
THE PROJECT
Preparation
  • Before class, have each child use a black marker to draw the outline or line around his or her face on a 7-inch square piece of paper. They should draw only the outline around their face, although they may include necks and ears. Be sure to put the child’s name on the back of the paper, using pencil. Markers will bleed through the paper.
  • Make four copies of each child’s drawing the same size as the original.
  • Set out markers and photocopies.  
How to Begin
  • Explain to the children that they will be working together to show different emotions or feelings in their drawings by looking at how the facial features change.
  • Give them the copies of their drawings, keeping them stacked face up and in the same direction. Distribute markers, but ask children not to pick them up yet.
  • Describe an emotion, such as happy. Have the children turn to each other and show happy faces. Act out being very happy along with the children, exaggerating your facial features. Ask questions like, “What shape is a smiling mouth? Do the teeth show? Do the eyes change?”
  • Ask the children to take the first copy of their face outline and their marker to draw a happy face.
  • As the children finish drawing, have them put their markers down, set their drawings aside, and wait for everyone to finish.
Next
  • Describe a second emotion, such as sad. Have the children turn to each other and show sad, frowning, perhaps tearful faces. Again act out the emotion along with the children, exaggerating facial changes. Ask questions like, “What shape is a sad mouth? How do the eyes appear? Have the eyebrows changed?”
  • Ask the children to take the second copy of their face outline and their marker to draw a sad face.
  • As the children finish drawing, have them put their markers down, set their drawings aside, and wait for everyone to finish.
Next
  • Describe a third emotion, such as angry. Have the children turn to each other and show angry faces. Again act out the emotion with the children, exaggerating angry features. Ask questions like, “How do my eyebrows change when I am angry? What shape is an angry mouth?”
  • Ask the children to take the third copy of their face outline and their markers to draw an angry face.
  • Put markers down, set drawing aside, and wait for everyone to finish.
Next
  • Describe the fourth emotion, such as afraid. Have the children turn to each other and show frightened, scared faces. When acting with the children, show fear with eyes wide open, mouth open in terror. Ask questions like, “What shape does a mouth take when it screams? What might eyes look like if they saw a ghost or monster?”
  • Ask the children to take the fourth copy of their face outline and marker to draw a frightened face.
  • Put drawings aside, set down markers, and wait for everyone to finish.
Note: If time permits, ask children to draw a fifth emotion of their choosing on their original outline.

NOTES
  • Working together makes this project enjoyable and helps children forget any inhibitions they may have about drawing.
  • It’s important to exaggerate each emotion so the children are able to easily recognize the facial changes. Be sure small children understand that you will only be pretending when acting out various emotions, especially angry and frightened.
  • The children become very excited, so it's best to keep the class moving along at a fairly quick pace.
  • Mount each child’s series of drawings in a line on a colored strip of paper for a fun exhibit.
LET'S TALK ABOUT OUR WORK
  • Discuss which emotion is depicted in each drawing and what information tells us this.
  • Point out that even though we’ve never seen anyone’s hair standing on end, we as artists can choose to draw it that way. 
What the children might say…
  • When you are sad, your smile looks upside down.
  • My sad face has tears all the way to the bottom of the paper.
  • I’m so frightened that my hair is standing straight up!
  • When you are mad, your mouth looks like a straight line.
  • Your eyebrows keep moving too.
  • I’m ready to do another picture.
What you might say...
  • An upside down smile is a wonderful way to describe a sad face.
  • As artists, we can exaggerate our drawings to show emotions.
  • Even though our hair doesn't really stand straight up when we are frightened, that is a good way for an artist to show fear.
  • When we acted mad, could you feel your face change.
  • Look carefully at the person next to you to see how their eyebrows change with each emotion.
  • When you are finished, please wait quietly while everyone finishes. It will not take long.
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