Painting Ourselves with Poetry

Twain 6th graders came back from a relaxing Spring Break, recharged and ready for poetry! For our 2nd poetry session, we explored ideas about self-portraits. I showed students self-portraits painted by famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. I asked students to notice objects and interesting details that Kahlo included in her paintings, that represented how she saw herself as a woman and artist. In one portrait Kahlo painted herself with flowers adorned in her hair, wearing a thorn necklace, and an earring that resembles a human hand. While in another portrait, Frida paints herself in a strange room with a clock and airplane behind her. In each portrait she showcases her bold and beautiful unibrow.

Together we read the poem, “Self-Portrait with my loose hijab,” by Noora S., a former 7th grader from Peterson Elementary. In her poem Noora talks about how people respond negatively when her hair sticks out from under her hijab. I wish to shout back at them but won’t/because I like to respect others even if they don’t respect me/It’s hard to keep the hair in sometimes/ I get confused on why people care.

Inspired by Noora S. and Frida Kahlo, students created Self-Portrait poems, which reveals their own identities, cultures, interests, and personalities.

Mr. Barr’s 6th Grade
Group 1

Self-Portrait with Pine trees
By Damian A.

The pine trees smell good.
They smell strong.

In the morning when I wake up in
the cabin.

I go outside early in the morning.
Its foggy and the trees filter
the air

The pine trees drop the acorns
and I kick them until they
are gone.

They entertain me.

Self-Portrait with a Painting
By Giselle B.

A painting in a painting
with brushes and paints aside
a canvas in a canvas,
almost endless.
With bright white eyes
and dark brown hair.

Self-Portrait With Wavy Hair
By Gracie B.

Having wavy hair isn’t the best.
Burning it with a straightener everyday.
Not liking it and how frizzy it is.

Having wavy hair isn’t the best.
Inherited it from my mom.
She loves it.
Wishing I had pin
straight hair like friends.

Self-Portrait with the Mexican Flag
By Jazlyn L.

It reminds me of happiness.
Been going since I was young
visiting my dad.
When I go, all the memories
come back.
Seeing the flag move
in the wind, I feel relieved
and happy once again.
When I see the eagle I remember
the flag. The beautiful colors
red, white, green
of the flag.
It give me hope
and a purpose.

Mr. Barr’s 6th Grade
Group 2

Self-Portrait with the Starry Night
By Arely C.

Looking up at all the stars,
the moon shining below us.

Meteor showers the color
of white chocolate bars.
Astrology is a great topic
for me to discuss.

Watching the stars,
that tells tales.
The starry night is nice,
While the cool air is
cold as ice.

Self-Portrait With Cars
By Sade G.

Cars help me feel free.
When the windows are down
and the wind is blowing
in your face
most of all in Texas
the ocean breeze smell,
the nice smell,
it helps you feel alive
and like you are living,
one car ride can take you
to a wonderful world.

Self-Portrait With My Eyes
By Mia R.

Brown eyes like chocolate
Shaped like almonds
Dark eyes when the moon is out
Hazel eyes when the sun is loud
I inherited my eyes from
both parents
Helps me see the good in the world
Water up when life isn’t fair
But even then, for my eyes
I care.

Self-Portrait With My Family
By Alex O.

Coming close together to smile a good one.
The ocean behind us and our toes in the sand.
Our sunglasses in the picture.
We are hugging each other.
The flash looks like I blinked.
My family laughing and talking.
Looking at my dad and mom smiling.
The six of us making a “V” in the picture,
with my cousins, Theo, and grandparents.
A lot of us together, one big hug together.
Saying cheese right when the light goes out.

Mr. Barr’s 6th Grade
Group 3

Self Portrait with My Height
By Isabella M.

Trying to reach the cabinet.
Everyone laughs and teases.
I’m tall at home but short
anywhere else, I was so tiny.
At least I win every game
hide and go seek!
I would be the first one
to survive Michael Myers.

Self-Portrait With Birds
By Melisa R.

Colorful feather filled the background.
Full of delight of the sounds coming outside.

Playing with the birds, the joyful faces and colors.
A bird can make up your day.

Cute little toys for birds to learn.
The bird is a look alike,
A Kiwi

Self-Portrait With My Hobbies
By Tara

My hobbies are what make me,
Art is one of my hobbies.
Art is who I am.
It was my favorite hobby,
until it got tied with gaming.
I was ecstatic for both.
But could I do both of them?
I’ve been doing art for years,
since I was young.
But is it still my favorite?

More 6th grade Self-Portraits by: Bellamor H., Sarahi C., and Adulynn Z.



“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.