Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Student Silhouettes Made Easy - Whatever Wednesday

Today's Whatever Wednesday Topic is:
Silhouettes Made Easy

Teachers will often trace student’s profiles.  They make great displays for Open Houses and back-to-school bulletin boards.  They are cherished parts of Mother’s Day gifts.  That doesn’t mean they are easy.

In fact, just the opposite is true.

If you’ve ever attempted to get 24 Kindergarten students to stand in front of an overhead and “freeze like a statue” while you frantically try to outline the projection of their cranium onto black construction paper then you know what I mean.

Just getting a 5 year old to stand still is a task in itself.  But, getting a kid to stand still and not turn his head to see the giant shadow of himself that is bating him to one side and the illuminated treasure on the other is a real accomplishment.

I did a mystery unit with my third graders a couple of years ago.  Inspired by the Alfred Hitchcock logo-ish thingy, I wanted to use their profiles as part of a “guess who” writing display.  However, the thought of tracing all those heads exhausted me.

Then I had a lightbulb moment (pun intended).

I had them stand in front of the overhead as I normally would.  Instead of tracing their silhouette, I simply snapped a photo of it.

So. stinking. easy.

And they came out great.

I used the photos as they were, but you could easily enlarge the pictures on a copier and use them as a template for cutting out the traditional black construction paper.

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