Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Begin with Creativity

I've been looking for a new way to begin class...something that will help us begin with more calm and allow the students to express themselves creatively. I found it...self-portraits. 

Lynda Barry. She is brilliant. I own all of her books, but this idea came from Syllabus. Students are given a blank index card and invited to create a self-portrait of themselves today. I give them approximately two minutes. Here are a few of them...



I thought students would love this activity, but surprisingly they approached it with some fear and a bit of dread. I heard over and over again, "I can't draw." 

We are persevering. Students are finding ways to be more creative and allowing themselves to have more fun with it as the days go on...

My next step is to share this video (parts of it) with them and invite them to take more risks. What would your two-minute self-portrait look like today? 

Find more slices on Two Writing Teachers


  1. I really enjoy this particular assignment and have had my college students do the self-portraits every class for a semester as their attendance record. It's fun to see their reaction when they get all their cards back at the end of the semester. And yes, I hear a lot of "This is hard" and "I can't draw"!

  2. I love Lynda Barry! Thanks for sharing the self portrait idea! I am going to use it

  3. How fun! I can see how much your students are enjoying it. You are such a great teacher, friend. :))

  4. Hi Michelle! I love this and I am grateful you shared this idea! I do not know a thing about Lynda Barry so thank you for introducing her to me! Is there one book you suggest I get of hers?

  5. Thank you for sharing the idea. I'd like to try this with my students. I probably would like to try myself.

  6. This is so interesting! I really enjoyed the video and thoughts on drawing, and once again, admire your dedication to making your classroom engaging and challenging. Thanks so much for sharing and for introducing me to Lynda Barry.

  7. Such a fun way to explore creativity with your kids. Thanks for the video.


Please share your thoughts. I love comments!