Tag Archives: shadow

Sailboat Silhouette



My students and parents LOVE this lesson. I do this one with First Grade. This year, I did the lesson with Grade 1 and the Grade 1 and Grade 2 Combo classes.


I think it always turns out great. The nice thing about this is if they make a mark they do not like, they can just color over it and it becomes a bigger boat or another sail. It also reinforces how to draw basic shapes.


This year, I had extra wide sharpies which made it easier for my students to color in large sails or large boats.



I think one key to success is to make sure the students go slowly around the outside and then they can move quickly when they are in the middle of the image.



Time for Tea



I have a small collection of tea pots and tea cups. Some were gifts, others were purchased for a tea party birthday years ago.


I brought some into the classroom with some fresh flowers so that my third graders could create still life paintings. We talked about composition, hierarchy, overlap, shadow, and highlight.


They used marker and watercolor to create these lovely images. I love how different they all are and how many of them added fruits and flowers from their own imagination.


Solar Systems, Planets, Galaxies


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I have done this lesson for many years in various formats. I have always done it with grade three as they study the solar system as one of their science units.

Some years, I have had the students create the planet spheres directly on the black paper. The focus is more on light, shadow, shape and form rather than recreating our plants.


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I always discuss highlight, shadow and light source and use a flashlight and a sphere so they can see how moving the light source changes the location of the shadow and highlight.

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This year, I had them create the spheres on white paper then cut and glue onto a black background. With one class, I tried splatter painting the background which worked fine but was a bit messy.


For other classes, we used white oil pastel to create stars and comets.