Self-Portraits on a Box in Grade 3

As many of you know, I love starting off the school year with a few lessons exploring and creating self-portraits. It’s a great way to re-connect with students, get to know new ones and teach or review face proportions.

I wanted to share with you a lesson I did with my grade 3 students three years ago. Being the queen of recycling, I saved some packaging boxes that reminded me of pizza boxes. If you can’t get your hands on some just start eating a lot of pizza (!!) or better still, tell your students to save some pizza boxes that are relatively clean 🙂 then you are set to go. These pizza boxes will become a sturdy frame for the self-portraits.

I present to you: Self-Portraits on a Box…

The stand up mirrors are so handy and great!

Practice makes perfect 🙂

Review face proportions, have your students practice drawing their face using a stand-up mirror  and do a final drawing on a piece of paper no bigger than the surface size of your box.

I had my students leave their self-portraits in pencil and use markers for the clothing. If you do this project with older kids, try having your students paint their portraits with watercolors. The effect is quite nice and soft and older students can control the watercolor better. The pizza box should have contrasting colors and designs so the self-portraits stand out. Another thing my students did was glue pieces of recycled cardboard to the back of the self-portraits and glue these onto the finished boxes to create a 3D effect!

My students wrote a bio of themselves and glued these inside the decorated boxes. Instead of a bio why not have your students write poems, goals for the year, hopes and dreams, a story about their holidays, etc. Go crazy people and take advantage of that back to school high everyone is on now.

What I love about this project is that you can display the self-portraits anywhere! I placed these around the room for open house. When my parents came to visit the art room, I challenged them to find and recognize their child by their self-portrait drawing. These were a hit!

For more ideas for self-portrait lessons read this post I wrote last year. Still want more ideas? Check out my best selling PDF e-books I have made for you with loads of ideas. For only 5 $ each it will save you lots of planning time! You can find them here , above on the lesson plan tab or on the side bar —>.

Have fun!

Art lesson ebook bundle

PS: Did you know Art Lessons for Kids has a Facebook page and you can follow my adventures on Twitter (@Ms_Alejandra)? Click on over!

Mini Me Self-Portraits

    I love starting the year with self portrait lessons. It’s a great way to get to know your students, new and old. Sometime ago while searching for ideas on Google, I came across an image where there were … Continue reading

Back to School Art Lesson Ideas

Hi everyone! I just wanted to touch base with you all as you are now probably starting to think about back to school lesson ideas for the beginning of the new school year. As much as I am enjoying my well earned holidays, I can’t help but think a little about school and what am I going to do in my art room those first couple of weeks to get my students hooked and in love with art all over again. Is this happening to you I wonder?

As I start my thinking process, I would love to share this journey with you here at Art Lessons for Kids. All I know at this moment is that I will start my year off with a big discussion about individual art goals for the year and what it means to be an artist. I did this last year and the students really enjoyed it. Every student’s goal was put on a large underwater mural which stayed up all year long. You can read more about this here. This year the mural’s theme will be ‘Outer Space‘ which was a great idea my son gave me.  Who doesn’t love planets, stars, rockets, UFO’s, aliens and comets?

Another idea I have been tossing around is for my students to create artistic vision boards filled with their dreams, hopes, desires and goals they would like to achieve this new school year. This would tie in nicely with the unit on self portraits I love doing at the beginning of each year. What do you think? What are you planning to do?

In the meantime, you might want to check out some of the fabulous back to school lessons I have put together as downloadable PDF e-book tutorials. These are collections of my favorite and popular lessons which you can do at the beginning of the year or anytime really. Click HERE for more information.

Happy planning and more ideas soon to come!


Art Lessons for Kids is on Facebook  and we are GROWING. Hit the  ”Like” button to show your LOVE  and join the conversation. You can also follow my adventures on Twitter (@Ms_Alejandra) or see what I am pinning over at Pinterest.