One of our first provocations in the month of September (usually during the second week of school) is having the students begin to create their own self-portraits.
Here is how we made this possible in our class last year:
1) Have conversations about art as a process, which means that the children can stop when they feel tired and hang their work on the "art work in progress" wall. Our goal is for them to show us their best work.
2) Allow children to explore their facial features using mirrors and their own photograph (if you cut out only the head it makes it easier for the kids to focus on this rather than their body) before even beginning to draw.
3) Read any books that give the message that we are all unique and special.
4) Teach sketching from observation techniques, and have children use pencil first. Some children sketched by looking at themselves in the mirror, while others preferred to use their photo.
5) Once they are happy with their pencil sketch they can go over it with pastel. (Teach how to work with pastels before this point.)
6) Display their self-portrait in the classroom. We have ours in frames over their cubby area on top of their coat hook.
The children love to see themselves in the mirror and feel really accomplished when their self-protrait is completed!
I welcome any questions below within the comment section, if anything is unclear.