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Sitting for a Portrait

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Writing +1 Age Levels Elementary (9 to 12 years old), Middle School (13 to 15 years old), High School (16 to 18 years old)

Have you ever sat while someone painted your picture or took a photograph? How does it feel? What do you think about while it occurs? This student activity begins with a portrait of George Washington and a letter describing his attitude towards portraits. After students reflect on these, they will choose another portrait from the set and focus on developing observational skills and an attitude of empathy by examining the work closely and imagining the perspective of one of the people in the image.

Tags: portrait, point of view, perspective, Washington, Pine, de Kooning, John F. Kennedy, JFK, Norman Rockwell, Mitchell, Spalding, video, self-portrait