Port Portrait

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Plan an imaginary cruise, using maps, studying other languages, and drawing scenes from your trip.


  1. 1. Identify exciting places your family or a school group, such as a language club, might visit on a boat or ship. Work together as a class, or in small groups, to plan an imaginary cruise. Plot the course of the trip on a map. Record the imaginary itinerary on a chart or calendar.
  2. 2. Make a portrait of your group waiting to leave one port on the cruise, using Crayola® Oil Pastels on construction paper. Depict the foreground and background scenery realistically, and show clothing appropriate for the climate. Blend layers of color in the background with a small piece of paper towel.
  3. 3. Describe the port scene and the feelings of each group member. Use vocabulary words that capture people's excitement and curiosity.


Children write about an entire imaginary family or school voyage. Refer to maps, Web sites, and brochures. Ask children probing questions as they revise and edit their work.

Continue a series of drawings of an imaginary cruise. Bind the drawings together and add words to describe events and sights. Write in each country's language if possible.

Invent riddles about the setting in the portrait. Can other students figure out where the portraits were made?


Children research and plan an imaginary cruise itinerary (tropical islands, fjords, rivers, iceberg watches) while studying topics such as languages, transportation, geography, oceans and rivers, or climates.

Children use the technique of layering and blending oil pastels to depict the setting and cruise participants in one port on the voyage.

Students describe the scene and group members' feelings with vivid vocabulary.


Grades 1 to 3
Grades 4 to 6


Language Arts
Social Studies
Visual Arts


30 to 60 minutes
Multiple Sessions

curriculum standards links

US: Research U.S. Standards
UK: Research UK Standards
Canada: Research Canada Standards

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