Sunday, November 19, 2017

Teach Character Traits with Art Silhouettes

This is a great project for teaching character traits with art. 

Character Traits

Students learned about character traits and came up with traits for themselves. They typed these and chose a font for printing. Then, they cut them out.

character traits art lesson for kids

The Profile Silhouettes

For the silhouettes, the students took pics of their profiles and printed them in black and white. Then, they cut the profile out and painted it black. I have also seen kids use the Promethean boards in their classrooms to trace each other's profiles. They stand in front of the white part of the board. A partner traces the shadow that is created from the board's light onto a black piece of paper. 


The Backgrounds


The background is created with oil pastels. Students just chose colors they liked and created a pattern. Color theory could easily be incorporated here. Students could create different values of their favorite color. Actually, having them work with their favorite color connects to the concept of character traits.

Recommended Materials

  • These oil pastels are great for the regular classroom. The set is small, so they are easily stored. They aren't too pricey, two or three kids can share one pack, and they blend pretty well. Plus, the color is good quality, showing up on white and colored papers.
oil pastels
  • This craft acrylic will work well for coverage of the silhouette. It is a little heavier than some other paints, which means the edges won't curl quite as bad. 





  • Mod Podge is great for sealing paper to paper. The silhouettes will most likely turn up at the edges if you glue the painted ones onto the oil pastels. This is because the black paint makes it harder for the edges to lie flat. So, I recommend a light coat of Mod Podge over the whole piece. Keep in mind, if you use a cheaper paint, like tempera, to paint the silhouette, it might bleed a bit. Be careful, or just use the recommended acrylic, which is less likely to bleed with the Mod Podge.


  • You could regular white copy paper for this project if that is all you have access to. Thicker paper will work best, though. So, if you can, get some card stock. I love using off-white or cream papers for things like this. It helps the paint be less transparent. 


Much Love


The fourth grade teachers at my school get all the credit for this amazing project. They are such great teachers. I'm so proud to work with them! (All the hearts- JJ, LC, CM)

What do you think? Do you have a similar project? I'd love to see it!



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Hey, I know art supplies can be tricky to acquire. I have added one of my successfully funded grants to TpT. The narrative and budget portions are included as well as info and pics about the art projects we did with the supplies. Check it out!



grants for teachers

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