Sunday, September 29, 2013

Family Portraits

One of the activities my students did in the first few weeks of school was to draw a portrait of their family. I actually worded it as drawing all the people who live with you. Many of our students live with a wide range of people and I want to be sensitive to this. It's easy to refer to having mom or dad sign something or to tell kids to make sure mom or dad is with them at an evening event. I want to be inclusive. Plus, it's helpful for me to have some understanding of their home lives.

Their pictures were awesome. They also had to label the people in the pictures. I wrote any words they wanted up for them to help.

This one surprised me but I've followed up and it's accurate. (Although I believe an aunt and two cousins also live in the apartment.)

This one cracked me up with how tiny the people are.

These are pretty well-drawn bodies from a six-year-old. 

Originally this picture only had my student and his brother (who was in my class last year). I sent the boy back to add the adults who live in his home!

Another one that made me laugh. All that space and the tiny people and tiny labels.

One of the things that fascinated me was the different ways students drew people. Some had so many details and some were more basic. I learned a lot from this.

This one warmed my heart. Her mom doesn't live with her but she told me she wanted to put her in the picture. The girl was really thoughtful about the skin color for everyone in her house. Her parents are of different races and you can see the various shades here. This was really important to her.
Another girl requested that I spell a name. I wrote it for her and then asked who that was. She told me it is her baby sister whose in her mommy's tummy. She then drew the little one in the tummy and labeled her. Beautiful.

It's so easy in a first grade classroom to feel like one is on a hamster wheel, just going, going, going. I love what I see and learn when I slow down to watch and listen.

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