Faces in the Crowd


Find beauty in people's faces and their features! This colorful, textured portrait celebrates human diversity.


1. Look at the intriguing faces around you--in your classroom and community, at a shopping center or restaurant, in photographs of groups of people. Notice that people may look very different from you, but are also very much like you in many ways. How wonderful that each person is unique! Find several hair textures and colors, skin colors, shapes of noses and eyes, and other variations in facial features that you can show in a group portrait.

2. Use Crayola® Washable Markers to outline several distinctive human faces on thick posterboard, canvas, or plywood.

3. Cover your craft area with newspaper. In a bowl, mix sawdust or finely shredded newspaper with Crayola School Glue. Make the mixture rather thick, so it will stay in place on your painting.

4. Use a stiff brush to trace over the outline with the glue mixture. Use extra amounts for textural areas such as hair and clothing. Add facial features (eyes, nose, and mouth) with a small amount of the glue mixture. Use plain glue if you prefer a smoother face. Air-dry flat overnight.

5. Use Crayola Washable Paints, including Multicultural Colors, to paint your portraits. Mix colors to show the variety of people you know. Give them cheerful, colorful clothing and accessories. Air-dry the paint before displaying.

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Crayola Washable Paints—Not for use as body/face paint.


  • Encourage younger children or those with special needs to make sketches of their observations of human diversity before drawing portraits. Focus on similarities as well as differences.
  • Add other materials to the sawdust and glue portraits, such as cloth, paper scraps, and decorative objects. Embed them in the glue for added texture and color.
  • Do portraits of specific groups, such as women for National Women's History Month, inventors, indigenous peoples, generations of family members, or any other curriculum topic which honors diversity.
  • Use larger amounts of the sawdust and glue mixture to create contour maps of countries or local areas. Build up higher surfaces for mountains, and paint maps in appropriate colors.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Artista II® Washable Tempera Paint
  • Art Smock
  • No-Run School Glue
  • Washable Markers
household supplies
  • recycled newspaper
  • posterboard
  • container(s) of water
  • bowl (plastic or paper)
  • sawdust



  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6


  • Social Studies
  • Visual Arts


  • Multiple Sessions


  • Children examine and appreciate the diversity of people around them.

  • Students recognize racial and physiological differences while they discuss human similarities.

  • Children create a textured group portrait portraying human diversity.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards