I LOVED this idea that I found on found on the Art Class Works blog and thought it would be PERFECT for my 4th grade girls self-esteem group. Before group, I drew an outline of a head and neck onto a piece of card stock using a black sharpie.
When the girls arrived, I gave them each a blank portrait and a black marker. I first asked them to write 10 things that they like about themselves or that make them special inside of the head on the portrait. For example, the girls could write “I am beautiful,” “I am smart,” or “I am a great big sister.” Once the girls finished writing their 10 positive affirmations, I asked them to pass around their portraits to the other students. On the outside of the head, each girl wrote one nice thing about the other group members. These portraits were just oozing with positivity, kindness, and love – and the girls were thrilled and beaming when they saw what the other girls had written about them!
At the next group session, I had watercolor paints, paintbrushes, and cups of water ready for the girls. I asked them to paint their portraits however they would like. We talked about how certain colors may symbolize certain qualities – yellow could symbolize happiness, red could symbolize strength, and green could symbolize success. Here is how some of the girls’ portraits turned out…(I have blocked their names out for you!)
The girls REALLY enjoyed this activity and created beautiful, meaningful, and sentimental portraits. These portraits are a wonderful tangible item for the girls to remember their experience in group, and also serve as a reminder of how incredible, unique, and amazing they are! I’d highly recommend this activity with 3rd – 12th graders – it could even work well with adults!