Taking It Further: Biography Portraits – Grade 3


For a number of years, 3rd graders at Conant have completed this collaborative project that connects their work in the classroom and their work in the art room. In class, students choose and learn more about a particular person, through the use of biographies.  They write a report, dress up as their person, and present to their classmates, and in art, create a portrait drawing of their person, to be displayed with their report. 

In art, not only do they create a lovely drawing to complement their report, they also learn the difference between portrait and self-portrait while relating those two vocabulary words to what they’ve learned about biography and auto-biography. They also learn additional vocabulary words for describing types of portraits (frontal view, profile view, 3/4 view, bust, full-length, and group).

This year, I took it a step further, after learning about the Chatterpix app.  When students were finished coloring their self-portraits, they used an iPad to create a talking photo.  

Each classroom teacher has (or will have) these drawings on display, so I’ve created QR codes that link back to the videos.  I plan to get these printed and posted next week (3/3), so if you stop by Conant soon, (especially during the ice cream social) swing by rooms 9, 10, & 20, to see the portraits in person.  Don’t forget to take out your smartphone and scan a few of the codes to watch the videos as well.  If you can’t make it to school, OR don’t have a smartphone, no worries, you can watch all the videos below.

Room 20

Not all students in Room 10 have finished their chatterpix videos.

Not all students in Room 9 have finished their chatterpix videos.

Notes about the lesson: Initially I hoped the students would be able to make the QR codes themselves using the QR Reader & Scanner app, but I found that with only 6 iPads, that was too slow going for the short amount of time we have in art.  It just took too long to create the chatterpix, export it to the camera roll, upload to dropbox, grab the video link, and use that link to create a QR code.  So instead the students did everything by the video link/make QR code.  Perhaps if my classroom gets another 6 iPads (which I plan to ask for and share with our music teacher Miss Stewart) this would be something the students could do on their own.  Certainly in a 1:1 iPad classroom! 


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