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Portrait Gallery in class

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I learnt this activity in a course for adults, but I've tried it with all levels and age students and it works as well.

Give the students a piece of paper and colour crayons. Ask them to draw a self portrait -better faces only- on it in a freestyle way. Tell them that it is not necessary to get perfect ones: they can be cartoon-like, humorous, caricatures or very simple ones. They have to reflec the way they think they are. Don't write names!

They will add three things they like and three things they don't in both sides of their portrait, for example, drawing the words "likes" and "dislikes" an write the things below each one. Finally, they can decorate it as they like.

When the task is finished, the teacher sticks each portrait on the classroom wall.

The students can walk around admiring the portraits and guessing who is who. The teacher can help to start conversations commenting their likes and dislikes, looking for coincidences or contrasts, for instance "Ana and Elena like spiders, Why? Luis likes chocolate, but Susana doesn't. Can both of you explain why?

I usually keep the portraits on the wall for a long time. The students ask me to do it!

Ángeles Garrigós
Alicante. Spain

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