Lesson Title: Individuality – Fingerprint Art Therapy
- PS:A1.1 Develop positive attitudes toward self as a unique and worthy person
- PS:A1.2 Identify values, attitudes and beliefs
- PS:A1.10 Identify personal strengths and assets
- Students gain insight into the benefits of art therapy
- Students partake in the therapeutic experience of engaging in expression through art
- Students explore different dynamics of their lives and components of their sense of self
- Students identify ways to express themselves and how they be beneficial or harmful
- Fingerprint template (Page 5 of this downloaded lesson plan below)
- Blank piece of paper
- Variety of crayons, colored pencils, and/or markers
1. Introduce the concept of art therapy and how it can be used as a tool of self expression. Art therapy is a form of therapy/counseling that helps people to express themselves, especially when it’s hard to explain how one feels using words alone. In art therapy, you might draw, paint, use pictures to make a collage, color, or sculpt to show your feelings using art. When you are happy, your art might show lots of bright colors and make others who look at it feel happy. If you feel angry you might use your paint brush to draw bold, dark illustrations and you may paint what has made you feel upset or you may use colors to show how you feel inside. When you use art therapy, it helps others to understand how you feel in order to help you and can also be used as a coping skill since using art or being around art can help you to feel a little better and to better manage your emotions.
2. Explore good/bad ways to express oneself. Therapy/counseling is an important way to remain/become healthy and to seek help in becoming the best person that we can be. Counselors often help people discover different ways of expressing oneself in ways that are healthy. Expressing yourself is important because it helps us to become confident, to share who we are, to find others that we can relate to because they have something in common, to celebrate differences and appreciate one another, and to learn to love ourselves. Expressing ourselves is healthy and important, but only if we express ourselves in the right ways. I am going to name several ways of expressing oneself and I want you to stand up if it is healthy and sit down if it’s unhealthy.
Fashion and/or Clothing
Grafitti (on another person’s property)
Acts of Service
Vandalism (damaging other people’s property)
Cyber Bullying/arguing with other people online
Design (graphic, interior, etc.)
Do you think that healthy expression can becoming unhealthy (playing video games too much or playing video games that are violent or make us feel scared or uncomfortable)?
Why is it important that we express ourselves?
3. Explore the topic of individuality and the different pieces that make us unique individuals. Every single person has a unique fingerprint. That means that no one has the exact same fingerprint as any other person in the world! Just like our fingerprint, we are all unique and diverse individuals that differ in many ways. I want you to take out a piece of paper and start making a list of things that make you unique or special. This doesn’t have to be things that are unique only to you that aren’t true for many others and they don’t even have to necessarily be good things. Remember that we are all a work in progress and that we are on a journey to becoming the best people that we can be. For example, I can be quite loud and dramatic. I would prefer to be a little quieter and more observant of others instead but I am working on that. Still, that is part of who I am as a person so I should include that!
I am going to give you a list of subjects to think about so that you can start to build your list of what makes you unique:
Favorite subjects, movies, teams, shows, music, etc.
Likes & Dislikes
Attitude/demeaner (outgoing, loud, sensitive, positive/optimistic)
Things/causes that are important to you
4. Provide an example of a fingerprint with your own information on it that share how you are unique. Explain how students can use their list to share information about them that makes them unique. Students will write on the fingerprint lines and can include pictures (preferably in colored pencil or crayon so that you can still see the words). If time allows, let students share their work. Consider playing a relaxing playlist for students to listen to while they work to encourage creativity.