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Portrait of the President


Subject: Arts & Humanities
Grade: K-2, 3-5

Brief Description
Students use current photographs to create portraits of the president.


Students learn the meaning of the words portrait and sketch. Students draw pictures of the president, using current photographs from media sources as models.


president, inauguration, portrait, photograph

Materials Needed

  • teacher-researched pictures of the president from print and/or online sources
  • drawing paper or construction paper in various colors
  • pencils
  • crayons and markers or paint, paintbrushes, and water
  • computer(s) with Internet access and printer (optional)

Lesson Plan

You may want to complete this activity in two lessons.

Lesson 1

  • Before the lesson: Save pictures of the president in different poses from print or online sources. You might have students collect the pictures from online sources if they have Internet access.
  • Discuss the president. Introduce the word portrait. Ask students where they might see portraits of people. If portraits hang in your school, include them in the discussion.
  • Say to students: "Imagine that you are an artist. You have been asked to create a portrait of the president for the White House. What would you show in your picture?"
  • Show students some pictures of the president in different poses. Ask students to select the pictures they think might make good models for a portrait. Talk about why they selected those particular images.
  • Tell students that they are going to create portraits of the president, using their picture selections.
  • Distribute the drawing or construction paper and pencils. Introduce the word sketch. Explain that many artists create sketches or pencil drawings before they add the color.
  • Have students sketch their portraits.

Lesson 2

  • Distribute students' sketches and picture models. Ask students to compare their sketches to the models and make any changes.
  • Let students choose the color medium for their pictures, such as crayons, markers, or paint. Have students color their portraits.

Extension: Let students use construction paper, drawing materials, and scissors to create "frames" for their portraits.


Evaluate students' participation and portraits.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Lois Lewis

National Standards

Langauge Arts:

Visual Arts: