Birthday Baroque

Birthday Baroque lesson plan

Start a school birthday tradition! Use Crayola® Washable Window Markers or Crayola Window Crayons to draw self-portraits and birthday announcements on classroom windows.

  • 1.

    Students explore portrait painting styles of several different artists. The paintings of El Greco often include long, tall figures with faces longer and thinner than most people have. Rubens made many pictures of his children using chalk on brown paper. Students can look at his sketches for some ideas on how to capture their own face in a drawing. Rembrandt liked to look in the mirror and draw himself making faces with wild expressions. Think of an expression to portray on a Birthday Baroque self-portrait.

  • 2.

    Students draw a self-portrait on the inside of a classroom window using Crayola® Washable Window Markers or Crayola Window Crayons. Create a unique design or try one of the portrait-painting techniques of the artists studied. Draw outlines using the tip of the marker. Fill in large areas using the side of the marker tip.

  • 3.

    Add a written Birthday Baroque announcement. Try reverse writing. Because the message will be read from the outside, write in large, backward block lettering on the inside of the window. Check the Birthday Baroque announcement when from the outside!


  • LA: Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • LA: Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
  • SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.
  • VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.
  • VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.
  • VA: Understand there are various purposes for creating works of visual art.


  • In small groups, students research famous portrait artists throughout history. With the assistance of the school's art teacher, students learn the unique use of color and lines for creating portraits.
  • In teams of two, students research a chosen portrait artist. Student teams will summarize their research and accompany it with a "Birthday Baroque" sketch of the artist, completed on a school window, perhaps in the month of his/her birth.