This year, we made silhouettes for parent gifts. I am in love with them!
Both my assistant Mary and I have strong memories of making silhouettes during our early years in school. After talking to several teachers, I realized that this project has been abandoned by many. New ways of making silhouettes don't even involve shadows, but using photographs.
We decided to bring it back.
Since we couldn't find any good info on making them in the classroom with kids, I thought I'd share some of our findings.
We no longer have overhead projectors, so a strong lamp with an adjustable arm was used to cast the shadow. Mary put up large sheets of black paper and used chalk to trace the shadow. The hard part was getting the kids to stay still. She also took some liberties and drew in little wisps of hair, eye lashes, and other features to enhance the silhouette. Figuring out the best way to trace the shadow took some time, but once Mary got the hang of it, she was off and running.
The kids loved it! This project is really a collaboration between teacher and student. There was some serious one-on-one time here as well as a sense of working together.
To "frame" them, we decided to have the kids watercolor large cardboard ovals. Then, we attached lengths of ribbon to the back and a little pop tab on top with hot glue. This way, the parents can instantly hang the silhouette if they want to or have it framed professionally. The kids also wrote a little "Merry Christmas 2009" note on the back.
Here are a few of my other favorites. You can really see the kids personalities.
I can't wait to see the parents' reactions tomorrow! I also hope that we created special memories with our students.