The Many Shades and Shapes of Love


Grade Level:

Kindergarten-1st grade


Ink Stamps and Ultra-fine Sharpie

Objective: Students will create an artwork with people of all different sizes and colors. They will be able to add their own details to each person to make them unique. (Based on 35-40 minute class periods):

Day 1: Read "Brown: The Many Shades of Love" by Nancy James to all of the students.

After the story, talk about how all of the colors that we were made are all beautiful. Have the students in groups, each put their arms out and really look at the different and yet beautiful colors they all are? Have them notice that no one is the exact same color. We are all different beautiful colors.

Give the students the worksheet (Are You the Same or Different) or have the students draw a picture of themselves with crayons on a piece of paper. Have them then draw a picture of a table mate sitting next to them on the paper as well. Have the students really look at the other person. What color eyes do they have? Hair color? Skin color?

Day 2: Have 5 or 6 stations set up, each table or station with one color of ink and a stamp shape (ex. triangles). For each station, have another ink color and another shape. Hand out a large piece of tagboard or drawing paper (about 8” x 16”). Have students write their names on the back. Divide an equal number of students up at each station.

Show students where to stamp their shape. They will only do one stamp at the first station. They want it to be on the far left (but leave a bit of room at the edge) and it will be in the middle of the page (not at the top or the bottom). Once everyone has their stamp done, have students rotate in groups to the next station. They will have a new color and a new shape. Have them leave a little bit of space and then do the next stamp. Continue rotating until they have 5 different stamps. Some colors may repeat.

**Prepped ahead of time: You will need to make photocopies of the small circle template on a variety of different skin tones (as many different colors you can find). Use a paper cutter and cut them into squares. Place a variety of each of these onto a tray.

Pass out the tray of different circle colors. Have students cut out the circles and begin gluing them a little bit above each of their stamps. They will need to leave a little bit of space for the neck of their person.

Day 3: Have students finish cutting and gluing the heads down for their people.

Pass out trays of ultra-fine sharpies or pencils first (if you prefer). Show students on the board how to draw arms and legs that aren’t made with just one line (sticks). I also pass out handouts that show a variety of different mouths, eyes, noses, and hair styles.

Talk about accessories. Will one person have a pocket? A dress? Be holding flowers? An ice cream? Wearing a hat? A purse? A tie?

Let students have fun adding as many details as they can to make each person different from each other. Some may start in pencil and then go over it in ultra-fine sharpie. The artworks can then be mounted (I prefer a double matt) on a colored piece of construction paper and then onto a black piece of construction paper). Students can glue them to the papers.

Learn more about this lesson here.

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