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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Children of the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2016

Learning resource

A companion to the National Photographic Portrait Prize 2016 exhibition, this resource is a cross-generational tool to activate focused looking and discussion in families and school groups. 

We have selected eight portraits from the exhibition – of children from various cultural backgrounds, in various geographical settings – which suggest a multitude of potential narratives. A small booklet (download 'Everyday magic', on this page) includes the same images overlaid with prompts for contemplation.

Both the booklet and the activities below invite children to consider familiar physical elements such as pose, movement and their senses, and to build critical and creative thinking skills by drawing on their memory and imagination.

Using this resource

Designed for early primary school-aged children (up to Year 3), the resource can be adapted to suit your circumstances and needs. You could use it before, during or after a visit to the exhibition – in the gallery, in the classroom or at home. If you cannot visit the physical exhibition (in Canberra or Dubbo, Newcastle, Port Pirie, Mildura or Glenelg) you can print the booklet and/or images from this page.

Activities

  • Select a photograph from home that has a particular look, taste, smell or feel. Discuss what each of these senses means and how the chosen image expresses that particular sense.
  • Pair your photograph from home with one of the eight photographs featured in the resource, and explore the links between the two images. What do they have in common, eg in terms of pose, expression, mood?
  • Create a comic strip. Using either an image from home or one from the resource, draw what happened before and after the chosen image. In a group, discuss what’s happening. Consider how else the story might begin and end. 
  • Choose a favourite image from the resource and write a short story or poem about it.  

Curriculum links

The resource has connections with the Australian Curriculum, as follows, and is designed for early primary school teachers of Visual Arts, English and History.

Visual Arts:

  • Visual analysis – observational skills and viewing critically
  • Processes – describing, explaining, exploring, questioning, imagining
  • Subject matter
  • Techniques and art forms (photography)
  • Materials
  • Technologies

English:

  • Portraits as narrative
  • Visual language – explore the different contribution of words and images to meaning in stories and informative texts
  • Literacy – creating text and handwriting

History:

  • Questioning – pose questions about past and present objects, people, places
  • Analysing – interpret data and information displayed in pictures and texts
  • Evaluating and reflecting – draw simple conclusions based on discussions, observations and information displayed in pictures and texts
  • Communicating – present narratives, information and findings in oral, graphic and written forms
  • Exploration of self and others, identity, family, culture, community and the environment

8 portraits

1 Free Range Cousins, 2015 by Jennifer Stocks. 2 Heath 2015, by Matthew Abbott. 3 Dusty and Jed, 2015 by Louise Whelan. 4 Cliffy, 2015 by Rhett Hammerton. 5 Life Dancers, 2015 by Elizabeth Looker. 6 The Lino Hunter, 2015 by Janet Tavener. 7 Sisters Isla and Elki role-play as princesses, 2015 by Natalie Grono. 8 Soft and Sophia, 2015 by Margaret Paley.

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Canberra, ACT 2600, Australia

Phone +61 2 6102 7000
Fax +61 2 6102 7001
ABN: 54 74 277 1196

The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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