Art With Jenny K.


Silhouette Art Project

silhouette art project


A great All About Me activity that is very personal is to make silhouette outlines of all the kids. Then each child fills in their silhouette using single words that describe themselves. I did this All About Me activity for the first time this summer. Encouragingly, the kids really liked it. My students were thoughtful in their word choice and quite artful in putting their chosen words into their silhouettes.  The final results were stunning and personal.

This project is part of a collection!


Here’s how we did it.

There are several ways to outline a silhouette. All involve a bright light source and a large white sheet of paper. First, have the kids stand between the light source and the piece of paper. Next, have someone trace the shadow that is cast on the paper. Good light sources include the sun, a lamp, a flashlight, or even your overhead projector. The child should stand sideways to the light and far enough away from the paper so their shadow is the appropriate size for the paper.

It can be tricky to trace the kids because even when they hold VERY still, they still move around a bit (this will depend on the age of your students). One workaround is to take a picture of the children with their silhouettes (like the pictures above) and then project them from your computer using your overhead projector onto white paper. This is an extra step, but it makes it easier to get the crisp silhouette outline.

silhouette art project

Descriptive Words

After you have the silhouette outline done, the kids brainstorm a list of positive attributes that describe themselves. Not only physically, but their likes, their skills, their family, their hobbies, their extracurricular activities, etc. Anything that makes them unique and special. The more words that they come up with, the better. They should make this first as a list on a separate sheet of paper. This proved to be a great time to work on spelling—bonus!

silhouette art project

Once they have the descriptive word list, they should then start writing these words within the outline of their silhouette. Students use different colors, different writing utensils (colored pencils, crayons, markers), different sizes, different fonts—whatever stylistic flares they want as they incorporate the words into their silhouette. The words can even be vertical, upside-down, curvy—let their creativity run wild!

silhouette art project

I instructed my kids to leave the area outside the silhouette blank. The only exception is that they could add some lines radiating from their heads—symbolic of their thoughts and presence going out into the world.  But you could have your students do whatever they’d (or you’d) like. Just have fun with it!

When these All About Me silhouettes are hung up, they’re a powerful, personal display the kids will be proud of. Mine certainly were! This is a great project to add to your arsenal of All About Me activities.

Thanks for reading,

Jenny K.

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