5th & 6th Graders Paint Self-Portraits

I was excited to be back at Shoesmith Elementary. The students and I hadn’t seen each other since before the Winter Break. To kick start the new year of 2022 5th and 6th graders explored the idea of self-portraits. We discussed the famous artist Frida Kahlo who is not only known for her beautiful and bold unibrow but her amazing self-portraits of herself. Frida usually painted herself with flowers, exotic animals, and even thorn necklaces. She wanted her paintings to express her deeper emotions and proud Mexican culture.

Together we read the poem, “Pain Me Like I Am,” by teenage poet Delia Garcia who used repetition and powerful imagery to reveal how she saw herself, and how she wanted the world to her as a unique individual. Paint me happy/laughing/ running down a path of happiness/ paint me so my pain won’t show/paint me with life/but most of all/paint me free.

Inspired by Delia Garcia, students wrote poems describing how they wish to be painted. Please enjoy these fabulous poems and portraits below.


Ms. Yassky’s 5th Grade
Group 1


Paint Me Who I’m Supposed To Be
by Grace A.

Paint me with love.
Paint me with beauty.
Paint me with feelings.
Paint me caring
Paint me with color.

Paint me without hatred.
Paint me without greed.
Paint me without disrespect.
Paint me without violence.
Paint me without winter.


Paint Me How I Know
By Jayla C.

Paint me with nature
Paint me with greatness.
Paint me with glee.
Paint me with animals.
Paint me with plants.

Paint me without bad.
Paint me without hate.
Paint me without dark.
Paint me without sadness.
Paint me without coldness.


Paint As A G.O.A.T.
By Gregory G.

Paint me with a basketball
shooting into the hoop.
Paint with cool grays.
Pain me with an iPhone 13.
Paint me without being mad in a game.
Paint me with haters.
Paint me without hatred.
Paint me without everything, including fear.
Paint me without a mask.


Ms. Yassky’s 5th Grade
Group 2


Paint My Future 
by Isis C.

I wanna be a new person with a stone metal future.
Will you paint me with my best friend?
Her dream as bright as mine.
Will you paint me with my favorite food?
A monstrous treat.
Will you paint me with a lab coat?
A chemist I must be!
Paint my hair a curly afro.
My locks drawn beautifully.
Paint me with a family.
No debts disturbs us.
Paint me with daffodils
surrounding my body.
I have pet animals, not
for testing.
My intelligence pays off.
I will be free free,
richness in my hands.
My future is set in stone.
Thank you, Painter
For my new name is known.


Paint Me How I Would You
By Kyleigh F.

Paint me with water paint,
life is messy.
Paint me with thought and precision.
Rake you time, get it right.
Let me have a halo that has a strong
glow that will light up my path.
Paint me in a world that has more food
than the entire world can eat.
Give me the life of a colorful art museum,
Full and magical.
Give me my own home with
my own rules and my best friend in it.
Paint me in a world of my choice.


By Da’Cari S.

Paint me with love.
Paint me with real friends.
Paint me with a glow up.
Paint me with no hate.
Paint me with family.
Paint me without bullying
Paint me without school.
Paint me without fake friends
Paint me without people talking
about me.



Ms. Henry’s 6th Grade
Group 1


I Don’t Need Your Opinion
by Amaya B.

Paint me with snakes like I’m the one you fear
and I don’t fear you.
Paint me without your opinion.
Paint me like you ACTUALLY want people to like me.
Paint me like I’m Shannon Hale.
Paint me without an unreliable narrator.
Paint me with big condos.
Paint me like I’m the one everyone adores.
Paint me without comparing me to others.
Paint me with confidence that stands over the roof.
Paint me without Bellatrix from Harry Potter.

Paint me as a therapist because I’m the one
you can share your feelings with.
Paint me like I’m someone who won’t judge
you or others around you.
Paint me without my past.
Paint me without lots of fashion designers
like Nicolas Ghesquière & Peter Dundas.
Paint me without spiders.
Paint me like I’m a human being.
Paint me without overthinking.


Paint Me With Meaning
By Sanai P. 

Paint me with life.
Paint me with joy.
Paint me with colors.
Paint me in space where gravity can’t say a word.
And where the stars shine brighter than the sun.
Paint me with meaning.
Paint me with freedom.
Paint me without emptiness.
Paint me without judgement.
Paint me without pain.
Paint me without cruelty.


Paint me with/without
By Lawrence  T.

Paint me with my cat that snuggles up with me
every night, the cat that I have grown up with.

Paint me with my bed, it make me feel safe when
I just want to be alone, I can hid under my covers.

Paint me with my friend Leon Holmes, we have
been friends from kindergarten.

Paint me without fake friends, the ones who hurt me,
the ones who don’t really care.

Paint me without COVID-19, the thing that has
messed my life up.

Paint me with my dogs Vixen and Zoro.
They have made me mad, sad, and happy.
The cute little puppy that I see every time
I get out of class.
The giant dog that’s just 1 years old.
She loves to be cuddled and doesn’t
know how big she is.



Ms. Henry’s 6th Grade
Group 2


Paint Me With Shooting Stars
by Ka’Niyah H.

Paint me with microphones in the sky.
Paint me without fear.
Paint me life.
Paint me without darkness.
Paint me without toxic people.
Paint me with shooting stars.
Paint me with color .
Paint me without bullying.
Paint me with Black Lives Matter.
Paint me without racism.


Paint Me Being Me
By Elijah G.

Paint me being me.
Paint me with a football.
Paint me without sorrow.
Paint me without pain.
Paint me in cleats.
Paint me without hatred.
Paint me being bold.
Paint me without being judged by my skin.
Paint me with my life.
Paint me without tears.
I just want to be painted being me.


Paint Me As Me
By Amina K.

Paint me with birds in the air.
Paint me without violence.
Paint me with long brown hair.
Paint me with the power to be me.
Paint me without overthinking.
Paint me in a field of tall green grass.
Paint me without hatred.


Paint Me With Butterflies 
By Amaya V.

Paint me with a smile on my face.
Paint me with black curly hair.
Paint me with butterflies flying around me.

Paint me with glasses.
Paint me laughing.
Paint me free from the pain.

Paint me without tears .
Paint me without trauma.
Paint me without sadness

Paint me without anger.
Paint me without violence.


Self-Portraits by: Jesus V, Grace A, Gian R, Ah’lani M, Ashonti H, Keira L, Larrion J, and Ameer R



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.