Grade 2 Portfolios — “My Many Colored Days”

This project is a great way to use last year’s bro­ken crayons! You can even assign stu­dents the job of peel­ing paper off the bro­ken crayons just for this pur­pose.… some kids LOVE to do this!!

“My Many Col­ored Days”, writ­ten (but not illus­trated) by the beloved Dr. Seuss, is the inspi­ra­tion for my Grade 2 port­fo­lio les­son. Dr. Seuss wrote this text more than 20 years before his death, but wanted some­one else to illus­trate it. After his death at age 87, his widow brought the text to his edi­tor, who found artists Steve John­son and Lou Francer to suc­cess­fully cap­ture the effect Dr. Seuss had hoped for. In this beau­ti­fully illus­trated book, feel­ings and moods are com­pared to a spec­trum of col­ors in a way that both kids and adults can relate to.
Sec­ond graders will use both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive space, along with the famil­iar tech­nique of crayon resist, to make their port­fo­lios reflect their own unique feel­ings and moods:
1. Fold a 4“x6” index card in half “the hot dog way” (length­wise) and draw a sim­ple “gingerbread-style” per­son on the fold.
2. Cut out and save both the pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive shapes.
3. Using a crayon, draw a hor­i­zon­tal line across the mid­dle of your port­fo­lio. No need to use a ruler — you don’t need to mea­sure any­thing and it doesn’t even have to be straight!
4. Now draw two some­what “ver­ti­cal” lines (they can be a lit­tle slanted) so that the front of your port­fo­lio is divided into six sec­tions. Use a dif­fer­ent color for each line.
5. Place your cut-out per­son inside the port­fo­lio and use the side of a bro­ken crayon (with paper removed) to make a tex­ture rub­bing of it.
6. Change col­ors and move your per­son to a new spot and make another rub­bing. It’s okay (and actu­ally desir­able) to have the peo­ple over­lap into dif­fer­ent sec­tions. You can use both your positive and neg­a­tive shapes to make your rub­bings.
7. Keep chang­ing col­ors and mak­ing new rub­bings until you have at least 7 or 8 “peo­ple” on the front of your port­fo­lio.
8. Using water­col­ors, paint each per­son, but change col­ors when a per­son crosses over into a new sec­tion. Paint all the peo­ple this way.
9. After you’ve painted all of your peo­ple, paint the back­ground of each sec­tion a dif­fer­ent color than any of the col­ors you used on the peo­ple in it, and a dif­fer­ent color than the other back­grounds next to it. Exper­i­ment with mix­ing new col­ors to reflect your dif­fer­ent moods and feel­ings!
10. Finally, use a black UF Sharpie to add expres­sions to each of your faces, to go with the col­ors you painted them.

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One Response to Grade 2 Portfolios — “My Many Colored Days”

  1. Monica Crumley August 26, 2009 at 4:06 pm #

    I’m so glad I found your blog. I’m an art docent for my kids’ school (5th and 7th) this year. I’ve been doing it for 6 years now and LOVE it. Thanks to your index, I’ll eas­ily be able to find inter­est­ing hands-on ideas.

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