Students read Instructions to the Artist by Billy Collins before crafting their own portrait-inspired poems.
Lesson Note: According to findings by the leading researcher on the power of writing and journaling for healing purposes, James Pennebaker, Ph.D., of the University of Texas at Austin, ‘…expressive writing occurs on multiple levels–cognitive, emotional, social, and biological–making a single explanatory theory unlikely. However, there is little doubt that writing has positive consequences.’
Mr. Smith, 6th Grade
by Kim D.
I want to wear a slick
with heart tattoos, outside sitting
down watching kids play on the
by Kiara C.
Make my face like a
The background should
be an outdoor volleyball
Court. My eyes should
be oval. Make the size of the
canvas, square, but big enough
you can see it from far.
I would like to wear a black
by Melanie H.
Make my face as round and
grey as the moon on a dark night.
The background should be cats and sunset
My eyes should be dark brown
Make the size of the canvas large enough for everyone to see
I want to be wearing a jacket, necklaces, bracelets
I don’t want to be wearing shoes.
I want to be wearing purple rings.
by Brandon R.
The background should be as cool as a waterpark.
My eyes should be as round as a circle.
Make the size of the canvas as long as a white beard.
Make my accessories as shiny as a watch or ring.
Make my jacket as red as the sun.
Mr. DeAllume, 6th Grade
Parts of the Portrait
by Elijah R.
As round and grey as the moon on a dark night.
As bright as the sky
As oval as a shape
As medium as 21×21
My Own World
by Alexis V.
The background should be my own world
My eyes should be dots like the point of a pencil
Make the size of the canvas 100mm by 1,000…..sharks!
by Emmanuel R.
The background should be land with trees
My eyes should be dots
trees and the
dots kids picking
eggs with baskets
while the wind blows
by Natalia G.
For my self-portrait, you should..make my background abstract
tell; my eyes should be realistic; the canvas, rectangular; my clothing,
simple; to hold my dog; my hair, curled in; and I, sitting on a stool;
my legs crossed, for that is my dream portrait, about to come true.
Mrs. LeSane and Mr. Endres, 8th Grade
by Miguel P.
The background should be filled with mountains.
My eyes should be like a caterpillar.
Make this size of the canvas as big as a mountain.
The background should be the beach with dolphins.
My eyes should be like medium hazelnuts
Make the size of the canvas Extra Large
My hair should be like burn curly fries.
I want my expression to be calm and relaxed.
by Aniyah M.
My face should be light brown and not too light
My eyes should be brown and look different in the light
My hair should be in an afro as big as usual
I want a medium size canvas, not too big or small
Make the background pastel colors
light colors so all the brown stands out
by Ja’Lessa Neal
The background should be sunny with a sky
My eyes should be almond-round like a small peanut
Make the size of the canvas medium
My hair should be as poofy as a puff
and my edges should be sweeped with precise…
Instructions to the Artist
by Mayleen P.
Make my face as round and gray as the moon on a dark night
Mek the background Finn and Jake doing a fistbump
Make my eyes like a cat’s eye. Brown as chocolate cake.
Make the canvas as big as a bolder.
My hair should be done like a princess from adventure time.
Make my clothes as dark as coffee.
by Tatum H.
I wish to look calm
My eyes should be
painted with a calm mood
but energetic and happy
like a child.
I wish for a face mask
and the background can