Thursday, February 28, 2013

Unit 2: Chapter 8

Consider a lesson plan you might use. Which metacognitive skills/abilities are involved as students gain facility/knowledge in this domain? Think of an activity or lesson component that explicitly teaches one or more metacognitive and one or more problem solving skills.

Self-Portrait, descriptive of who student is.
Currently I am working on a unit plan that is called "Who Am I?", students will learn about portraiture and the different styles in which portraits can be captured. Through this unit plan several small lessons will take place, some of which are: students creating a self-portrait of them through a medium of their choice, students taking portrait style pictures of their peers and then making a collage with the printed pictures, and students making a wire portrait of themselves. Through these small lesson plans students will learn about the history of the portrait, how portraiture began, who made portraits, who got their portraits done, the different stages of mediums that portraits were/are created in, and then to today with a portrait simply being taken with a camera on one's phone. This project is supposed to help students learn about the human body, the face, and proportions.

Self-Portrait, wire sculpture, 3-dimensional.
Metacognitive skills and abilities I am looking for require the students to understand that we are all different. Our physical features come from what we are born with and are different because of our genetic codes. This unit plan encompasses several lesson plans that will help students begin thinking about how they think about themselves, each other, and others around them. It will help them to begin to see that we are all different. It will also help them learn and understand the meaning of portraits. This is something they should be familiar with because everyone has to get their picture taken for the school year book every year. Portraits are not new to the students but the ways in which I am asking them to view and create portraits is. Students will have to think about the ways they want to express themselves and the setting they want to place in the background of their self-portrait. They can use any medium but they must make a self-portrait and they must decide on the background in relation to who they are or want to be. This requires a lot of thinking because I want them to add in extra elements into the background that further describe what they are trying to say to the viewers of their self-portrait. With the photographs students will have to think about the ways they can take the photos so that they get a different image for each picture to later collage with. Because the students cannot take photographs of themselves easily, they will be paired up so they have to work together to make sure that the photographer is taking the pictures in the ways the student being photographed wants to be seen. Finally, the wire portrait provides students with a three-dimensional challenge. They will have to think about their method for creating a portrait that looks like them but is basically consisting of contour lines. Still dealing with portraiture but in a very different concept in terms of materials being used to create.

Portrait by peer, photograph collage.
With all of these lesson plans within the unit, each requires students to think and problem solve in their own way. Students will gain knowledge about portraiture not only from learning about the background history of the portrait but from creating these projects as well. By doing hands on activities they will grow in their knowledge about the human body and its proportions. Students will also learn about different mediums, materials, and processes all for creating portraits.


  1. Rachel,

    First of all, the artwork is all really neat. I especially like the wire one and the fact that it is three-dimensional. I love how your lesson plan was structured in the sense that each student had to create a self-portrait, but then you left much else up for individual choice and interpretation. This will allow for so much creativity in your classroom as students have the option to choose a medium and determine how to best represent themselves. What a great way to get your students thinking and problem solving. For me, the wire art looked interesting, and I can definitely see myself problem solving and calculating how to measure, shape, and cut the wire. Using problem solving and creativity is a great idea here. It challenges the student to not only make a piece of art but to thoroughly think through and consider the process being experienced.

  2. Rachel,

    I love how you included that students will start to think about how they think about themselves. Like myself, I know you want to teach the older students. In middle school, students are starting to learn all about who they are and start to develop their personalities. I think your lesson will be a great way to help students do this. It can be a confusing time for students, but with you as their teacher, I know you will help them develop this activity, and their personalities!