Posted by: keepingthemistakes | February 21, 2013


In January, my lessons usually focus on diversity.  We talk about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the work done during the civil rights movement to make the world a better place for all people.  We talk about ways that we can make a difference and make the world better for everyone.  During Christmas break, I met a woman in Las Cruces, NM that works with indigenous women in Chiapas, Mexico.  She shared about how these women, whose weavings she was selling, are treated as less than human because not only are they women, but they are native, and that is like having two strikes against you.  I shared that story with my students and we talked about how, while changes have happened in our world, there are still those who are treated unfairly and there are things we can do to try to make things more just.

This post will focus on 3rd and 4th grade projects.  Third grade watched the movie “Martin’s Big Words”.  Then we talked about what they thought should be changed in the world and what they would be willing to “march” for, like they marched during the civil rights movement.  I asked them to think of something they could do themselves, and draw a picture of themselves doing it (for example, if they wanted to end animal abuse, a picture of themselves volunteering at the animal shelter; if they wanted less pollution, a picture of themselves picking up trash, etc.).  They drew their picture with pencil on 8 x 11 paper, traced over it with an ultra fine Sharpie, and erased any excess pencil lines.  Then, the fun began 🙂  We glued their picture down on a colored construction paper “frame” (9 x 12), took a sheet of copier transparency and glued it on top with scrapbooking glue dots (I got the coolest dotter, for lack of a better word, at Walmart for placing the dots on the paper!).  Next, I had them trace a footprint with a black Sharpie and, finally, we colored only inside the footprint with colorful Sharpies.  It was a fun project!130205_0017130205_0018130205_0016

Fourth grade did self portraits.  We watched a movie called “All the Colors of the Earth”, which is based on a book by Sheila Hamanaka.  It talks about how children come in all the colors of the earth and sky.  I found the idea for this project online, but I didn’t mark the website.   I had them paint a background on 8 x 11 paper with watercolors and the instruction that it shouldn’t look like anything — it should just be color and shape.  While they were painting I took a photo of each of them.  I “posterized” their photos at and printed them out for the next class.  At that class I gave them their pictures and we talked about what the “important” lines were in their picture of themselves.  We traced only the important lines with Sharpie after we talked about facial proportion and things like not drawing a triangle around your nose, etc.  They could flip their paper over during that process to see how it was looking.  When they were happy with it, I gave them a piece of transparency paper (That stuff is so fun!) and they traced the important lines onto that with their Sharpie.  Finally, we mounted the background on a 9 x 12 construction paper “frame”, and glued the transparent paper on top of that (with the above mentioned glue dots).  The finished products were pretty cool!  I loved how unique each one is.130205_0015 130205_0014 130205_0013 130205_0012 130205_0011 130205_0010 130205_0008 130205_0007 130205_0006 130205_0005



  1. I recognize Jakob! 🙂 And maybe one of the twins??

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: