Monday, February 6, 2012

Easy Silhouettes - You'll Thank Me :)


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.


I'm planning to do this with my President's Day Writing Projects and will create a bulletin board out of them.



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18 comments:

  1. What a fantastic idea - thank you!

    Kara
    Spedventures

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  2. This is one of those ideas where I immediately think, "Why didn't *I* think of that?!" Thank you so much for sharing!

    I am also dying to use these silhouettes with a mystery unit and writing prompt now!

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    Replies
    1. These were part of my Open House Mystery Unit. I'll try to post more about it soon.

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  3. Great idea! I've always shied away from the silhouette projects because of the "squirm" factor; I can handle a bit of digital photography! Thanks!!

    Jen
    Hello Mrs Sykes

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    Replies
    1. The best part is if they wiggle, you just snap the picture again!

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  4. I figured this out, this year too! Brilliant!

    Laurie
    Chickadee Jubilee

    ReplyDelete
  5. I do these every year and dread it. So going to use this idea!! Thank you!
    Jessica

    Apples and Papers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'll be amazed at how simple it is! Take Care, Jodi

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  6. What a great idea!!

    April
    check out my blog:
    wolfelicious.blogspot.com

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  7. LOVE it, thank you for sharing your lightbulb moment. I've never even wanted to attempt the tracing after doing it with 120 pre-schoolers, but I will definitely do this.

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    Replies
    1. My pleasure! Definitely easier to do this with a camera if you are doing 120! :) Jodi

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  8. I love this idea! I have done this in the past, but I had the students make it a flip silhouettes so that they could publish some of their stories behind it. It was a great conversation piece for student led conferences.

    Amy
    thecrazyadventuresofauniversitygrad.blogspot.com

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  9. That is the smartest idea I have ever heard. I have to bribe parents to come in and trace shadows for me, and even with 4th and 5th graders, the standing still part is so hard. I'm definitely stealing the photo idea!

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  10. What an excellent idea! I always had trouble even with older students getting a good silhouette. I am stealing this idea (I already pinned it so I don't forget)

    Terri
    tizatt@ecsdnv.net

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  11. I did this with my kids today and they turned out great. With a little photo editing to darken I love them.

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  12. I thought you were gonna say you took a profile picture and then put black paper behind it and cut it out. This is easier yet.

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  13. This was AMAZING! My para thanks you for this idea! This project took a fraction of the time it would normally take!

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