This project idea came about as a little mix of a project I saw from Sara Wilda at Franklin Elementary in Appleton, WI, and a neat blending project I found online. I started by talking about cool and neutral colors along with what colors we could see in the winter and in the winter night. I then introduced them to tints and shades. I gave them a demonstration on blending on creating different tints and shades by using a palate with white, black, blue and purple paint. I showed them how to blend the paint on paper by making parallel brush strokes overlapping the color before and after to create multiple shapes of each color along with a subtle blend into the next color. For the first class, we talked about these things and then painted a 9"x12" using those four colors repeated as many times as they want. We then used any remaining time to trace a coffee can onto yellow paper for a big full moon. I showed students how to use white chalk to shade in the moon and add craters.
In the second class, we reviewed what we learned about tints and shades. I introduced the concept of a silhouette and where we usually see them. After a little explanation, most of the students were positive that they had in fact seen one before haha. We then talked about the moon for a bit and I transition the discussion into animals that come at night. A surprising amount of them knew that animals who come out at night are called nocturnal. I then had then come over for a demonstration on how to draw easy tree branches and an owl silhouetted against the moon. I taught the students how to create a detailed tree branch by making large, medium, and small sized "Y" shapes. We started by making one large "Y" which went off the side of the page. We then added medium sized "Y"s which connect to the large "Y" and so on. We practiced drawing them on the back of our paper first, then drew them in pencil over our cool sky painted background and traced with black paint. We glued our full moons into the sky and made sure that at lest on of our branches touched or overlapped the moon so that we had a perch for our owl. I then showed students how to make an owl using the letter "U" as the main body and adding pointed ears. We then turned our paint brushes upside down and used the wooden tip to dip in white paint and make a starry night sky.
The project turned out great and we have been getting a ton of great comments since they have been hanging up in the halls. I highly suggest giving this one a try.