This week in Arts we drew self-portraits. My grade 5 class was absolutely thrilled about this.
Of course, my older kids enjoyed it, too. I brought in a mirror for them to pass around, and they loved staring at themselves. Teenagers.
But my Grade 5ers. Every 10 seconds I would have another excited learner practically peeing himself, shouting “Miss! Jefrou! Look at my face! Look my beautiful hair! I draw a teeth! It is me! Ivanga, give me the blue color! BORROW ME THE BLUE COLOR!” Etcetera. Of course, I also enjoyed looking at their “beautiful hair” and “a teeth.”
So much so, that I will share a few with you.
Because most of my learners are from the Himba tribe. Which means when they aren’t in their school get-up, they are in traditional dress, which includes painting their bodies with red ochre.
They colored their faces red for the same reason that, when doing a unit on adjectives, they chose to describe their mothers as “red” rather than “tall” or “friendly.”
They are proud of their culture. And they make damn sure that I know they are Himba. They are red Himba, Miss May. Did you know that, Miss May?
Generally speaking, adults of the Himba do not speak English, and although hospitable, they are from a culture that is difficult for an outsider to understand.
This is why I love teaching their kids. It’s educational for both parties.
Anyway, self-portraits. A fun project.