Third Grade Draws Faces with Expression

A while ago I posted a lesson I did with my students for story illustration.  It was borne out of a desire to ensure students learn how to draw the human form and face using correct shapes and proportion.  Yes, I know they are in grade three, but I just don’t see how kids can continue to draw stick figures and triangles for noses when we’ve done so many lessons involving drawing.

Anyhoo, for the second trimester assignment pertaining to illustration, I decided to focus on facial expressions.  It was amazing.  We did a lot with fractions and practiced.  A lot. We also learned what these expressions are and when we would feel this way.  Language Arts vocabulary focus – done.  Super beneficial all around.

I provided lots of handouts about facial expressions for reference. We examined faces and made our faces in mirrors. We discussed little tricks like “eyes for up for hope, down for sad.” We mainly focused on eyes, eyebrows, and the mouth because these really change a lot depending on the emotion.  The nose was pretty much left to a bump (except if it was dripping snot).  We also focused on adding little crinkles on the forehead, or how to draw hair.  The main thing we did every day was break our face down into parts.


After practicing and getting lots of feedback, students got to pick their four favorite faces.  Then they had to write a sentence showing me they understand when you would feel like this.

As a final step, students had a check-off list for every face.


Here are some of the results:





This activity was also very good for me. I got to know my kids in a way I usually don’t.  I don’t read with them or have them for writing practice.  They reveal so much of themselves through these activities.  I got to see more of their personalities, their worries, and learn what makes them happy.

Author: Sonia Chapman

I am an art teacher, living in the Middle East, following my passion for art, teaching little children about the finer things in life, and loving every bit of it.

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