Third Grade Creates the Northern Lights

I am a very lucky and privileged individual.  I have an amazing spouse, a great job, great health, and opportunities to travel the world.  There are very few things on my bucket list because if I want to do something, I can pretty much go do it.

One of the things I have not done yet is see the Northern Lights.  It’s on my list.  A few years ago, I saw a Northern Lights lesson and tried it out for fun.  Back then, I thought it would be difficult for grade three so I put it away. Well, one of my nosy students saw it a few weeks back and said, “I want to do that.” Uh. Okay.  Let’s do it.

I showed students footage of the Northern Lights in various locations of the world.  We were all mesmerized.  We all agreed we have to see this sometime in our lifetime. Some of my lucky students have already witnessed them in their travels.  Lucky children!

Then we got to work.  On the first day, we cut a large strip of black paper in two.  The way that we cut it though was into some very big waves.  Thing skinny tall waves.  These would then become our trees. Then I instructed students to use very small scissors (they love using the big ones) to give their trees a  haircut.  This was much harder than I thought it would be.  I tried to make it simple for them by advising they turn the paper so it would be more like cutting jaggedy triangles.  For some it worked, others, not so much.

Then we talked about silhouettes.  They all wanted to make wolves (our school mascot) or deer, so we did a lesson on using basic shapes to make these animals.  I think they became very confident during this time because we didn’t have to focus on making fur or super details. We were just making shapes.

Once they figured out how the bottom part would look, we focused on the sky.  The key to making the sky is to make cool wavy lines in different colors.  Then, using your finger, you blend in an upward motion. Once.  You don’t over-blend, you are just trying to smear the colors into each other. This gives a dreamy effect.

After that, we glued down the black paper and added stars with white paint.  They turned out beautifully.












Author: Sonia Chapman

I am an art teacher, living in the Middle East, following my passion for art, teaching little children about the finer things in life, and loving every bit of it.

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