Back to School Silhouette

silhouette This is an activity for the first day of school to break the ice with all of the new students.


  • To encourage creative expression
  • To learn about other students in class
  • To develop fine motor skills

Before You Start: Gather large sheets of black and white construction paper, tape, scissors, pencils, markers, glue sticks, and decorative items such as glitter, pom-poms and wiggly eyes. You will also need to have an overhead projector, sentence strips and a permanent marker.

Let's Get Started! Step 1. Position an overhead projector towards one blank wall in the room. Place a chair between the projector and the wall, and then tape a large sheet of white construction paper on the wall.

Step 2. Have a child sit in the chair. The teacher should shine the light from the overhead projector upon the child's profile to create a silhouette on the paper.

Step 3. Have another student trace the silhouette of the child in the chair onto the paper. When finished, let the children switch places and change the paper. The child that was sitting can now trace his or her partner's silhouette onto the paper.

Step 4. Allow children to cut out their silhouettes from the white paper and glue onto large sheets of black construction paper.

Step 5. Have children decorate their silhouettes in ways that tell about themselves. For example, have them write words/characteristics that describe themselves in long lines where their hair should be, using a crayon/marker similar to their hair color, such as, " likes animals, loves to read, likes to camp, etc." Students can also use pictures to illustrate what they like. For example, they could draw an ice cream cone in their favorite flavor in place of where their nose should be.

Step 6. Let children add finishing details with decorative items on their silhouettes and display in the classroom. The teacher can write the first names of each child on sentence strips with a large permanent marker to place under each silhouette.

Furthermore: Make this a class game. Remove the names from each silhouette and let each student try to match the correct names to the silhouettes. The student who gets the most names correct wins. Or, have a child match a name with a silhouette and have the class vote or use true/false paddles to indicate if the name is correctly matched. Award points for correct votes.

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