Wednesday, August 28, 2013

First day art lesson for second grade - Hot Potato Self-Portraits, a success!

Second grade had been in school for four days already before they came to me- I am sure they didn't want to hear me discuss rules, routines, and basics of every corner of the room.  However, I was leery about jumping in with a project.  Instead, I decided to try an ice-breaker, and go from there.

We gathered in a circle and played a game of Hot Potato.  Only instead of a potato, we passed a garbage bag full of hats, necklaces, glasses, and scarves.  When the music stopped, the person holding the bag wasn't out, they just had to reach into the bag and pull out an accessory to wear.

I admit, it got a little loud.  Second grade was super excited, but they did a wonderful job following the game's rules and cheering on classmates.  I had planned for a 15 minute game which was also perfect to empty our bag.  Each student had at least one item to wear, with some sporting 2 or 3!

We returned to our new assigned seats.  Each child received a mirror and continued modeling their new attire.  I reviewed a bit of information about self-portraits, and asked the students to draw what they saw in the mirror.

The class remained engaged for 15-20 more minutes.  Some students had the chance to color, others did not.  Some kids were completely stumped at drawing hats, while others just went for it.  It was a lot of fun!


  1. Great idea! I just shared it on our Artsonia Facebook page. Thanks for the
    inspiration - am sure lots of students/teachers could use a fun ice-breaker right about now! Hope you have a great year! :)

    -Tiffany Rahn, Artsonia

  2. What a wonderful idea! I can see this working at several grade levels since all kids like to put on costumes. Thanks for a great idea!

  3. Pinning your fun idea to my art games board. So social and creative!