Haunted Silhouettes

I happen to work in a fabulous school.  I feel very lucky to not only  have a fantastic group of kids to work with, but also a phenomenal staff to work with.  I work in a wing that has four classrooms and this year we have two grade one classes and two grade two classes.  The four teachers all work together fantastically. 

 I was walking down the hallway a few days ago, and came upon this...

The whole board was so visually stunning with the blues and blacks popping off the paper.  I had to stop by and have a closer look at what my neighbour had done.  This display was created by Rozana McFarland who teaches grade one in the class next to mine.  She comes up with the most fabulous art ideas.  This idea is one she saw on another teacher's art blog, but she could not remember who the source was.  So if any of you could tell me whose idea this is, please let me know as I really like to cite my sources.  It sends good Blog Karma all around  :)

This idea is easy to do with first graders.  First the children were told to paint a white circle in the top left corner.  They needed to try and paint it away from the edge of the paper a bit. 

Now as far as I can tell, you could manage this lesson a few ways.  The first way would be for the teacher to mix the paint to get the various hues of blue by gradually adding blue paint to white paint.  You could pre-mix it and have all the little cups with the various shades of blue all lined up and the kids make a larger circle and then move to the next darker blue, and make another circle...

  ...and then move to the next shade of blue and paint again, etc. etc.  Or, with older children, the kids could mix their own paint.  Start with the white on a pallette board and then gradually add more blue, and have the children mix the colour and paint the next ring, then mix the next colour themselves, and then paint it, etc. etc.

 These little haunted houses are foam stickers from a craft store.  The children glued them on the dry painting and then coloured in the windows with a white pencil crayon.    The ground and the trees were added with a black sharpie.  The children were told not to make the trees taller than the house.

Being the amazing and experienced teacher that she is, Rozana added a Language Arts component by adding the traditional poem "In a Dark, Dark Wood" to the display.  You could take this and make some writing, or reading activities to go with the poem.

I hope you enjoyed this idea.  Please leave me a comment and tell me what you think!



  1. This is an awesome project! I love the language arts oppotunity as well.

  2. This is a great idea! Would you like to post a comment with a link to your post on my blog under my fall art post?


  3. http://kids-finelines.blogspot.com/2011/10/3rd-grade-ghost-eye-trees.html
    it looks somewhat similar to this idea that i found on pinterest. i did it with my grade one class and it turned out great!

  4. Love these! Great way to teach monochromatic painting to all grade levels...I think we will try other colors...yellow, orange, red & blue! Thanks 4 another great idea! Will try this next month!

  5. Just saw this and it would be perfect for our halloween dance. I will use it as a background and put it against the wall. Will let my special ed kids do these on a bigger scale and will try to use poster board for the haunted house. Thank you for the idea.

  6. A fantastic lesson. I completed this lesson with my Year 4 students over two lessons. The students loved blending their own blues and enjoyed drawing skeleton trees and bats using oil pastels. The lesson linked in nicely with our previous lesson on cool colours. During our next writing lesson the students will write their own ending the the poem. Thanks for the inspiration.

  7. Thanks for the great idea!!!! We tried it in my Gr. 2 class and it was a hit! I wrote a blog post about it and linked back to you here. Thanks again!!!

  8. This amazing project would work well for a background of a nativity scene. Thanks for sharing!

  9. This amazing project would work well for a background of a nativity scene. Thanks for sharing!