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Vision and Voice

Based on a simple book, students focus on what each character is saying and create a silhouette of that character. More fun is added when they are shared and classmates try to identify them! Which provides more information; the vision or the voice?

  • Grade 1
    Grade 2
    Grade 3
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Share the book "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes: a Sing & Read Storybook" written by Annie Kulber and illustrated by Mike Wohnoutka as a read aloud. Discuss how the simple paintings of farm animals illustrate the song in the story. Sing the song together and encourage students to recreate the actions!
    2. Review the simple shapes of animals from the story and provide an example of a silhouette cut from a black/dark sheet of construction paper. Point out how specific shapes of each animal's head, the ears for example, can provide enough information for others to be able to identify the animal type.
    3. If students are not familiar with the shape of a speech bubble, share an example of a black and white comic from a recycled newspaper. Point out the specific shape of a speech bubble and have the students act out what some of the characters say.
    4. Provide each student with a dark piece of construction paper. Using Crayola Construction Paper Crayons, instruct students to draw the outline shape of the top of the head of one of the animals. Encourage them to pay attention to specific details that make that character look like that type of animal. If they have a large oval for a head, when they add the specific shapes of the ears that character will come alive!
    5. Students cut out the completed shape - that's what makes a silhouette; its kind of like a 'shadow portrait'!
    6. Next ask students to cut out speech bubble shapes and write a phrase that corresponds with what that animal said in the read aloud, or allow students to write something original for the animal selected. Allow students time to glue all of the pieces onto a background sheet of paper.
    7. Display all together with the original book nearby. Kids will have fun singing and acting out the song when they seem extra fidgety or need a different type of break!
  • Standards

    LA: Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.

    LA: Describe how words and phrases (e.g., regular beats, alliteration, rhymes, repeated lines) supply rhythm and meaning in a story, poem, or song.

    LA: Identify who is telling the story at various points in a text.

    LA: Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.

    VA: Elaborate on an imaginative idea.

    VA: Demonstrate safe procedures for using and cleaning art tools, equipment, and studio spaces.

    VA: Discuss and reflect with peers about choices made in creating artwork.

  • Adaptations

    Using a focused light aimed at the blackboard, have one student at a time sit in a chair with their profile aimed at the light. Tape a piece of black/dark construction paper on the board, and have another student trace their friend's profile on the paper. Each student can then cut out their own profile silhouette and glue onto another piece of paper! They could make speech bubbles out of sticky note paper and change what they're saying depending on a classroom topic!

    Have students repeat this project based on something they have all studied, but not have the speech bubbles glued; they can have a temporary hanging system such as hook & loop fastener or sticky tack, and see if others can place the correct speech bubble with the character!


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