Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Day 3: Activities Like...Student Silhouettes

I'm back for day 3 of this Blog Hoppin' linky! Today's focus is on favorite activities you've done with your class. I recently did a project with my first-graders that we displayed in the hallway during parent-teacher conferences. It was a big hit! I called them "Student Silhouettes"

"My favorite food is Klondike bars." I love it! 

Here's what we did:

The inspiration for this project was from...big surprise here....PINTEREST!
Check it out here!

We began this project by taking profile pictures. I had students come up to the smartboard (not turned on) and stand on a designated spot on the carpet, facing the side wall, so I could get a good profile shot against a white background. 

Once I had taken everyone's photo, I made them full-page size on Power Point. I then printed them on regular paper (cardstock would have been sturdier, but harder to cut out details, I think.) I then cut them out with scissors. I also could have used an X-acto knife, but the scissors worked just fine. The pictures were big enough to be able to get little details like hair & noses.

Then I had a collection of these!
(*Hindsight tells me that NEXT time I do this, I'm going to print them off in black & white. It would have saved some ink, and we found that the tempera paint doesn't want to stick on the printed side of the picture anyway).

Students also worked on the WRITING part of this project by answering some sample questions about themselves, with a focus on sentence structure, capitals, punctuation & spaces. Questions like: How old are you? What is your favorite food? What is your favorite color? What is your hair color?
We made "sloppy copies" first, edited them, and then wrote final drafts to be hung underneath the completed silhouettes. As with most first-grade writing endeavors, this became a multi-day process that was a little messy, but a lot of fun! 

I then called students back to the small-group table to paint their faces...their paper faces! 

We covered the table with paper & used scrap-paper to lay the silhouettes on as they were being painted. The first group decided to try & paint the printed side of the paper. This did not go well! The paint wanted to kind of pool up in spaces, like there was Rain-X on it or something! We quickly blotted them off, let them dry, and painted the BACK side of the silhouettes with better results.

What started as a good idea....

...quickly became an "Oh, *$!@" moment! The paint wasn't sticking!
As I said, luckily, it was an easy fix! If you do this, paint on the opposite side! :)

Once the silhouettes were dry, we glued them to the MIDDLE-TOP of our construction paper. We mounted the final copies of our writing below. I also made an extra-copy of the original face-pictures to be put UPSIDE-DOWN and at the BOTTOM of the backside of the construction paper. That way, people can simply lift up on the bottom of the construction paper to find out the student.

My hair is red. I love the little sticky-outie piece in the profile. It's SO that kid! My own little Opie!  
My hair is yellow. I'd say 70% of them answered that their favorite food is pizza. That made it kind of tricky for the parents to guess! :)
The students all went home & told their families so parents were also excited to see the finished products! It made for a nice activity for parents to check out while they waited in the hallway for their turn at parent-teacher conferences. It was cool to see the parents pick out their children & laugh at the answers to their questions. 

I think this will be a keeper activity for years to come! 

I'm excited to read about your favorite activities! Link up & share!
I'll be back tomorrow for New Ideas!


  1. Silhouettes are great! I remember doing them when I was in kindergarten or first grade. I am sure your students and parents will remember and love this project for years to come.

    Compassionate Teacher

  2. Great idea! I was thinking about doing silhouettes as a Christmas gift to parents this year. We'll see...many ideas floating around not sure what I'm going to tackle!

    A Very Curious Class


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