Reading Portraits as Biographies: Observe. Infer. Inquire.


e.e. cummings self-portrait, oil on canvas, 1958
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution

For Teachers of Grades 2-8
This can be offered as a workshop or a course.
The number of sessions can be modified.
Each workshop session is typically 3 hours in length.

Are you looking for ways to motivate and engage your students in the study of biographies and/or historical figures? Portraits are often considered merely a reflection of what a person looks like, when in actuality, they can be read as biographies that communicate significant information about a person’s life while teaching students how to deeply observe, infer, and inquire. Participate in this workshop to learn how to help students unlock the symbolism in portraits, connect biographies with portraiture, use portraits as a point of inquiry for biographical research, and create portraits and writings to deepen and assess student understandings.

Session 1: Observing and Reading Portraits

Session 2: Writing to Synthesize Portraits

Session 3: Facilitating Deeper Discussions about Portraits

Session 4: Creating Portraits

Focus 5, Inc 2016