Lights Off!

Description: Group project made up of different shapes

Objectives: Students build confidence with the concept of abstraction and recognize it as a valid art form.

Author: Kristin, edit by Blair

Grade level or Target Age Range: Elementary to middle school

Sample, Historical Art Examples, and References: Munsell Color System

Vocabulary: Abstraction, color wheel, hue

Materials: Flashlight, markers, black and white butcher paper

Anticipatory Set: How many colors do you think there are?


1. Introduction. Introduce students to color wheel.
(2 minutes)

2. Have students pass out materials. Demonstrate how the absence of light eliminates color and creates black.
(3 minutes)

3. Have students in groups make holes in black paper.
(2 minutes)

4. With the lights off, have students hold black paper above the floor and use flashlights to shine images through holes to white paper on floor below.
(2 minutes)

5.  Have other students trace reflected images on the white paper with markers. Have students take turns at different jobs.
(3 minutes)

6. Have students return to desks or floor in groups and color in shapes. Ask students questions, such as, do any of the shapes look like an image? Could that image be moving in space and time? Using Munsell’s color theory, what color could you draw when red and yellow shapes overlap?
(5 minutes)

7. Have students collect materials at the end of class.
(5 minutes)

Suggested Reading: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

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