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My Shadow Pictures

Capture shadows for a shadow dance!

  • Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Invite teams of students to experiment with shadows created by people or items blocking light sources (sun, bright lamp). On a sunny day, find a safe place outdoors, such as a sidewalk, where children can draw their shadows with Crayola® Sidewalk Chalk. Children work in partners to draw each other's shadows. Try different poses. Record shadow sizes and shapes at various times of the day.
    2. Create shadow pictures with stencils. On heavy paper, such as oak tag or recycled file folders, use Crayola Crayons or Erasable Colored Pencils to recreate shadow shapes similar to the life-size drawings. With Crayola Scissors, cut out the center of the drawing to make a stencil.
    3. Teams cover their work area with recycled newspaper. Dilute Crayola School Glue with an equal amount of water. Brush this mixture on a sheet of dark construction paper.
    4. While the glue is still wet, gently place the shadow stencil on the construction paper. Quickly rub Crayola Colored Drawing Chalk against sandpaper or a piece of screen so chalk flecks fall onto the open stencil. Gently lift the stencil to see the shadow picture.
    5. Cut out stenciled shadows and arrange them on a large piece of mural paper. The frolicking shadows create a shadow dance.
  • Standards

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    MATH: Use ratio and rate reasoning to solve real-world and mathematical problems, e.g., by reasoning about tables of equivalent ratios, tape diagrams, double number line diagrams, or equations.

    SCI: Construct models and representations of body systems to demonstrate how multiple interacting subsystems and structures work together to accomplish specific functions.

    SCI: Provide explanations of how sense receptors respond to stimuli by sending messages to the brain to be processed for immediate behavior or stored as information.

    VA: Employ organizational structures and analyze what makes them effective or not effective in the communication of ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Students collaborate in small groups to observe and document shadows at different times of the day, or once a week at the same time throughout the year. Students trace the shadows on large sheets of paper. Compare shadow sizes to the height of the human model.

    Using recycled boxes, students create Crayola model Magic characters and props. Use a flashlight to create shadows in the shadow box. Students document shadows and discuss how the positioning of the light source alters the shadow.

    Students analyze how vision works. What physical systems are used to see shadows, or other stimuli? Students organize research into an electronic format for presentation to classmates.

    As a class, students play Shadow Tag. Encourage students to engage their brains as well as their bodies so as to avoid standing in another player's shadow.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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