K, 1, 2

Students make a life-size picture of themselves. They verbally compare their attributes that make them unique. Display the self-portraits hand-in-hand at a local children’s hospital, if possible. Add captions or a list of dictated comments about what the children know about friendship, showing respect or caring about others in their community.

Lesson Rating 
PrintTwo Thirty-Minute Class Periods

The learner will:

  • compare the likenesses and differences between him/herself and others.
  • represent him/herself artistically on a full-body cut out.
  • dictate a sentence or phrase about friendship, respect or caring.
  • recognize the value of sharing his/her artwork with another community of children.
  • Large sheets of paper
  • One large black marker
  • Scissors
  • Crayons or markers, including multicultural colors
  • A full length mirror
  • Digital camera, optional
  • Fabric, yarn, buttons, old wallpaper books and other art supplies (optional)
Home Connection 

Invite families to help on the day that students color their body outlines. As an alternative, send the outlines home to be colored at home. If you choose to have the students visit the site where the artwork is displayed, ask family members to help with the fieldtrip. A family letter is provided on Handout One.

  • Hoose, Phillip and Hannah. Hey, Little Ant. California: Tricycle Press, 1998. ISBN: 1883672546
  • Lewis, Rob. Friends. New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1999. ISBN: 0805066918


  1. Anticipatory Set (Day One):

    Refer to the story from Lesson One: Ants Have Feelings, Too! Teacher will say "Oh my gosh! The ant thinks we are really big. Let’s see how big we really are! We are going to trace our bodies and then decorate them to look just like us."

  2. Discuss the children’s physical attributes such as hair color and style, eye color and clothing. Ask the children if there is any way to use art to communicate what they act like and like to do? Encourage the students to compare themselves to each other, noting similarities and differences: they all have hair and eyes but in different colors, they may have similar interests or different interests, etc. Lead the students to recognize that they are alike and different in many ways.

  3. Tell the students that the finished artwork will be displayed at a local children’s hospital (or wherever you have arranged). Ask the students what the children there will think of the display when they see it displayed with the full-size paper children holding hands. What is the value of displaying artwork there?

  4. Note: as the children work independently today, the teacher/teacher assistant will trace with marker each child’s body outline on paper. Make sure the child’s name is printed on the outline, such as on the foot.

  5. Anticipatory Set (Day Two):

    Remind the students that yesterday they traced their bodies. Tell them "Today we’re going to color our faces, hair and clothes. We’re going to do our best work because we’re going to take them to a special place. Don’t forget to look in the mirror to see how beautiful you look today."

  6. Teacher/teacher assistant will assist the students as they complete their full body portraits. Students may add art that is symbolic of who they are (e.g. a dinosaur or paintbrush on a T-shirt).

  7. Tell the students that in addition to showing the children at the hospital (or facility where the pictures are to be displayed) what we look like, we want to teach them what we learned about showing respect for others (Lesson One: Ants Have Feelings, Too!). Discuss the meaning of the word respect. Ask the students how they show respect for each other in the classroom, on the playground and in the community. Discuss how to respond to others who look different, have different needs and have different interests.

  8. Ask each student (one-on-one as they are working on their art) how they show friendship or respect to others. Write down the students’ comments.

  9. Choose a format for displaying the students’ thoughts about respect, friendship and/or community. Each outline may have a caption, or list the students’ comments on one poster displayed next to the outlines.

  10. Ask the learners to share what effect they think their display will have on the audience.Optional Field Trip:Teacher note: Prior arrangements should be made with the local children’s hospital, women’s shelter, daycare or adult-care facility for the children to visit and see their displayed artwork. Arrange for the students to have a tour, meet some children and listen to a story together.


The teacher will observe student participation in discussions of similarities, differences and respect for each other. Students’ dictated sentences should reflect an understanding of the concept.

Cross Curriculum 

The service learning project will entail the teacher contacting a local children’s hospital (or daycare or adult-care facility) and displaying the completed full-body cutouts in a hallway or gathering room. The students will dictate comments to be hung on or next to their artwork. The comments may be about friendship, respect or community (topic chosen by the teacher). The students may visit the facility or discuss the value of sharing their artwork with the residents. The full-body cutouts will be displayed hand to hand in a symbol of unity and friendship.


Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark E.2 Discuss the importance of respect for others.
      2. Benchmark E.4 Demonstrate listening skills.
  2. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark E.1 Provide a needed service.