Lesson Plan Week 3- Symmetrical Symbol Self-Portraits

Download “Symmetrical Symbolism Self-Portrait” Lesson PDF

View the Prezi Here

Class: Mrs. Anderson Gr. 6/7                                                      Date: October 26th, 2017

Topic:  Visual Art (Self-Portrait/Symmetry)                             Subject: Arts Ed 6/7

Symmetrical Symbol Self-Portraits
Content: Addressing the conceptual foci of Grade 6 and Grade 7 Arts Education curriculum students will create a symmetrical symbol based self-portrait that addresses concepts of identity and its relation to place. Students will explore concepts surrounding symbol in works of art, and its relation to shape space and form


Outcomes and Indicators:

 Outcome: CP7.10

 Create visual art works that express ideas about the importance of place (e.g., relationship to the land, local geology, region, urban/rural landscapes, and environment).

d. Reflect on how images, elements of art, and principles of composition can be organized to convey meaning in visual art (e.g., What message or ideas does our art work communicate about our sense of place in Saskatchewan?).

f. Recognize that visual art is a means of personal exploration and communication, and appreciate the importance of visual expression.

Outcome: CP7.11

 Investigate and use various visual art forms, images, and art-making processes to express ideas about place. 

a.Select various visual art forms (e.g., comics, photography, sculpture, film) to express ideas about the students’ place (e.g., neighbourhood, the prairie, inner city).

Outcome: CP6.10

Create visual art works that express ideas about identity and how it is influenced (e.g., factors such as pop culture, cultural heritage, peer groups, personal and family interests, gender).

e.     Reflect, analyze, and make connections between the original topic or inquiry question and subsequent visual art explorations.

f.      Reflect on how images, elements of art, and principles of composition can be organized to convey meaning and express identity in visual art (e.g., What messages or ideas does our art work convey about identity?

 Outcome: CP6.11

Investigate and use various visual art forms, images, and art-making processes to express ideas about identity.

a.     Select various visual art forms (e.g., drawing, mixed media sculpture) to express ideas about youth and identity.

d.     Identify and create visual patterns.

f.    Observe, interpret, and discuss the use of symbols to represent ideas.

h. Demonstrate how symbols and other images can be used to convey meaning (e.g., create a visual        statement about personal and/or cultural identity).


Students will demonstrate an understanding of the ideas of symmetry and symbolism by describing their artwork and how it relates to the words they chose from the identity graphic organizer.

Pre-requisite Learning:

Some colour theory, a basic understanding of line, shape and symmetry, some familiarity with indigenous medicine wheel teachings.

Lesson Preparation:

Equipment/ Materials:

• Various Drawing Media (markers, pencil crayons, pencil, etc.)                                              • Large white paper

• Who are you Prezi

Advanced Preparation:

•  Plug in computer/load Prezi



Set: (5-10 minutes)

Who are you?

Students will have two minutes to go around the room “introducing” themselves to each other in short single sentence facts (i.e. I like dogs, I am brother, I am from Regina). Push the students to keep going for the whole two minutes to stretch their thinking. Students return to their desk and fill out the graphic organizer.

What is Identity?

Ask students to think about what identity means. Some of what creates your identity is your place in the world. Tell the students that using the identity chart we just developed we are going to create a self-portrait.

Development: (30-40 minutes)

Show a list of symbols to the students

(stop sign, Nike swoosh, youtube, etc.)

Introduce the Medicine wheel and the concept of balance and symmetry in a healthy identity.

Discuss the idea that a symbol is a simple representation of something bigger. Have the students choose one word from each quadrant and turn it into a simple symbol.

Next have the students fold their paper to create a set of four quadrants.

Then have them draw a circle in the middle and trace the lines of the quadrants. This will be our self-portrait base.

Using the rules of symmetry will create the content of the portrait. The students must put one symbol in each quadrant and it must then be matched to keep the piece symmetrical (**what you do to the left you must do to the right, what you do to the top you must do to the bottom**).

Allow students to work on portraits.

Closure: (5-10 minutes)

Once students are finished we will share any finished portraits and start to look at the symmetry and symbolism and see if we can guess anything about the artist and the words they chose.

Classroom Management Strategies


Timer to bring students back after introduction activity


Guided art creation will help keep students on task and encourage those who might struggle if left to create art on their own



As the students are creating Mr. Whitten will circulate through out the class talking to the students about what they’re working on and assessing how well they understand symmetry and the creation of symbols





Students who finish early can be invited to start to add colour to their piece



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