Learning about who we are as a person and becoming aware of what makes us unique as individuals is an important part of our learning in the early years. Since the beginning of the year, we have been exploring how to express our feelings and how to understand emotions and this inquiry into identity will help the children add another layer of understanding about who they are.
We started our inquiry by creating self-portraits with loose parts and a second one on paper with permanent markers.
We then reflected on our self-portraits and created some documentation which is now on display on our bulletin board. This documentation includes each child’s reflection and observations.
We continued our inquiry with an “inner-self portrait” and each child took some time to think about what they are good at, what they can do, and what they like.
In the coming weeks, we will be creating artwork to show our community who we are inside.
"When we invite children to create self-portraits, we offer them mirrors and encourage the long, sustained study of their faces from this unfamiliar perspective. Then we ask them to re-create themselves on paper, weaving together the image that they see in the mirror with the person they experience themselves to be. Their portraits are eloquent statements of self.
A self-portrait is an intimate, bold declaration of identity. In her self-portrait, a child offers herself as both subject and artist. When we look at her self-portrait, we see a child as she sees herself. The story of self-portrait work is a tender story to tell."
- The Language of Art: Inquiry-Based Studio Practices in Early Childhood Settings by Ann Pelo.