• In the Garden

    Romare Bearden, In the Garden from American Portfolio. Lithograph on paper, 28 3/4 x 21 1/4 inches. Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.

Self Portrait: The Five W’s

Visual Arts

Grade 2

1: A Season for Chapters

3-4 45-minute lessons


What is it that I want my classmates to know about myself?
Will it be real or imaginary?

I can draw an original portrait of myself including the 5 W’s; Who, What, When, Where, and Why.
I can communicate a story through my drawing.
I can evaluate personal work while in progress and at completion.

Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University

Day 1

Direct Instruction

View the painting In the Garden, by Romare Bearden.

Discuss the 5 W’s seen in this work of art. Have students support their observations with details from the artwork.

Discuss what makes a self portrait and how will we include information that tells a story in our own self portraits.

Guided Practice/Application

Demonstrate drawing a portrait and how to get the proper proportions of the human body. Draw some of the items that will be seen in the foreground and background.

Independent Practice /Homework

Have students draw first using pencil. Remind them not to press down too hard because the paper will dent and they will have a “ghost” that can be seen through the marker. Go over pencil lines with permanent marker.

Day 2

Guided Practice/Application

Demonstrate coloring on the finger paint paper.

Place a paper towel under the drawing hand to prevent smearing. The color will smudge when wet or coming into contact with sweaty hands.

Independent Practice/Homework

After students complete using black marker to go over all lines, students begin to color in their pictures.

Day 3

Guided Practice/Application

Demonstration of self assessment and decision making process for completion of drawing.

Independent Practice/Homework

Have students complete their drawings. As they finish their work, give them some sentence starters to summarize their artwork. For example,

  • “In this picture, I am __.”
  • “You can tell I am [setting] because __.”

Allow students who would like to put artwork on board for a classroom discussion.

Classroom Extension Ideas

Continue the learning in this art lesson by bringing it back to the ELA classroom. Here are some possible extension activities:

  • Allow students to complete their short written summaries of their artwork (see above), then continue the discussion of their work. Draw parallels between choices that artists make and choices that authors make (2.RI.6).

Differentiation and Modifications:

Beyond Grade Level: Students who finish early can choose a fiction book to read.


Art Rubric

Materials Needed

finger paint paper (12×18″), pencils, black permanent marker, colored markers


self portrait, details, color, proportion, unique, personality, setting, movement, background, foreground, middle ground, title, evidence

Artwork in this Lesson

  • Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
    • Romare Bearden | In the Garden