I photographed each Nature Face after construction. When I decided to do this project, my first thought was to create faces that portrayed various emotions. My thinking was to have students identify the emotions shown by faces. However, as I kept creating these Nature Face Characters, different writing possibilities arose.
I was working with second grade students and thought I would try out a particular writing activity using these Nature Face Characters. The students worked in pairs. Each pair was given a photograph of a Nature Face Character. They were instructed to do the following:
- Give the Nature Face Character a name.
- Write descriptions of his/her eyes, nose, mouth, hair, face, and emotions.
- Tell his/her story using these descriptions, ending with a sentence telling a little more about this character.
As the students wrote about their Nature Face Characters, I helped them revise their work. They added adjectives or made a stronger word choices. The students wrote their final drafts. Then I decided to put their descriptions along with the photographs into a class book but with a twist.
I glued the typed version of their writings on cardstock along side the photographs. Then I cut them apart. I mixed up the descriptive writings from the photographs and put them back together in a book. Now, the book has become interactive where the students are required to read for details in order to match up the Nature Face Characters with the correct descriptions. (See photos of book below) It is a fun way to teach children the importance of reading for details.
Below, I have listed other possible ways to use Nature Face Characters in your lessons.
- Have the students bring in nature items from a walk around the school grounds or their own back yards. They work with a partner or independently to create their own Nature Face Characters. You can even have them construct a whole person, not only the face.
- Require the writings to be poems. These can be a particular type of poem or just prose.
- Instead of descriptions, have the students write stories using these characters. Go through the whole writing process of brainstorming, writing rough drafts, revisions, editing, and final drafts. Incorporate the 6-Traits. Take photographs of their characters to display with their stories.
- Write the descriptions as riddles.
- For primary students, teach how to read emotions/feelings on faces. Have them create a face using items from nature. Using the same materials, have them change the emotion using more items, or changing out the items.
I hope you try one of these versions with your students. Happy Creating!