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Tracing Translucent Colors

Students create an intricate stained glass pattern. On tracing paper, translucent marker colors seem to glow in sunlight.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Invite students to investigate the history of stained glass windows. How is stained glass made? Where are stained glass windows most often found? Provide time for students to share their research findings.
    2. Advise students that they will be recreating a stained glass design. Allow them to choose their designs. It could be either a real window or a pattern they imagine. Children draw lines and shapes for their windows on tracing paper with Crayola® Erasable Colored Pencils. Encourage them to apply principles of visual organization such as unity and balance.
    3. Students color their window designs with Crayola Washable Markers. Try mixing or overlapping colors for interesting effects. Outline areas with a darker color so designs pop from the background.
    4. Students hold designs up to a window with light streaming through. It looks SO real!
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

    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.

    SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.

    SS: Give examples of and explain group and institutional influences such as religious beliefs, laws, and peer pressure, on people, events, and elements of culture.

    VA: Select media, techniques, and processes; analyze what makes them effective or not effective in communicating ideas; and reflect upon the effectiveness of choices.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Students investigate the history of stained glass windows, whose use began during the Middle Ages. Students organize their research into an electronic format for presentation to classmates.

    Invite a local artist that works with stained glass to meet with students and discuss the process of creating this art form. Prior to the visit, students write questions for the expert. After the meeting, students post learning to a class blog.

    Using knowledge of the coordinate plane, students work collaboratively to graph their inspiration for a stained glass work of art. Provide students with a minimum number of ordered pairs required for this activity, such as 10. After all points are plotted. students write directions for re-creating this art piece on the coordinate plane. Color the graph using Crayola Colored Pencils.


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