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A good project for the beginning or end of a year, when individual characteristics, likes and differences can be identified and celebrated.
A book to get you started – Different Just Like Me; Lori Mitchell; Charlesbridge
What you need
Photos of all the children in your group
Pens and crayons, including skin coloured tones for all races and cultures
A home-made book or bought scrapbook with enough pages for one whole page per child
More useful books
All Kinds of People; a Lift-the-Flap Book; Emma Damon, Tango Books
All Kinds of Bodies: a Lift-the-Flap Book; Emma Damon; Tango Books
All About Us: Activities for 3-5 Year Olds; Irene Yates; Brilliant Publications
All About Me; Catherine Bruzzone; B Small
All About Me; Hannah Mortimer; Folens
All About Me: a Hundred Things That Happened to Me Between 0 and 3; Selina Young; Orion
My Neighborhood: Places and Faces; Lisa Bullard; Picture Window Books
Self-portrait, Louise Spilsbury; Evans
What you do
Take photos of every child, or let the children take photos of each other.
Print them out, making the prints small enough to leave room on the page for a self-portrait.
Look at the photos together. You can spend as long as you like discussing them, sorting them according to hair colour, eye colour, boys and girls etc. This will encourage careful looking and comparison.
Now arrange a self-portrait place, where several children can work together without getting in each others’ way Place the mirrors so the children can see their own faces as they sit, and put felt pens, crayons and paper where they can be seen and selected. Remember, well-displayed resources will encourage children to really look and think.
Give sensitive support and time as small groups of children look at their own faces in the mirrors. Encourage them to look at their own photos and talk about how they will draw a self-portrait.
When the portraits are complete, stick each one with the photo on its own page in the book.
Ready for more?
Let the children bring photos of their families and homes for individual books.