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Faces in the Crowd

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

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Have students look at the intriguing faces around them--in their classroom and community, at a shopping center or restaurant, in photographs of groups of people. Discuss how people may look very different but are also very much alike in many ways. Students find several hair textures and colors, skin colors, shapes of noses and eyes, and other variations in facial features that they 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 the craft area with recycled 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 for a smoother face. Air-dry flat overnight.
    5. Use Crayola Washable Paints, including Multicultural Colors, to paint the portraits. Mix colors to show the variety of people. Give them cheerful, colorful clothing and accessories. Air-dry the paint before displaying.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    LA: Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing one's own clearly.

    SS: Give examples of and explain group and institutional influences such as religious beliefs, laws, and peer pressure, on people, events, and elements of culture.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources: If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World’s People by David J. Smith; If America Were a Village: A Book about the People of the United States by David J. Smith; The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler

    Ask students to bring in photographs of relatives to share with classmates. Mix up the collection of photographs and have students select several for the Faces in the Crowd portraits.

    Working in small groups, encourage students to discuss the differences they observe between ethnic groups. If helpful, have students make a list of facial features for different ethnic groups and use this as a reference when painting the portraits.

    As an extension of the portrait assignment, have students focus their research on specific events such as National Women's History Month. Students need to research the event prior to completing the portraits.


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