Introduce children to the idea of self-portraits prior to starting center activity. Show children the pictures you have collected of people smiling and define self-portraits: that it is making a picture of yourself. This can be done at circle time or as children choose this learning center.

Before using the materials, give each child in the center a mirror and encourage them to look at their own face. Ask child to describe what they see, repeat and expand their descriptions to help children focus on details including specific parts of the face (cheek, chin, eyebrow, etc.), colors and shapes. Provide each child with their own photo and encourage them to recreate that photo with the colored pencils.

Ask each child to tell you about their picture and especially their smile. Write down what they have to say about their self-portrait. Post portraits with children’s comments at eye-level so that conversations can be revisited.

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