Student Writing Activity Using Paint & Framed Silhouettes

writing activity framed silhouette

Objective: To visually enhance all subjects with various writing genres

Age: 5+                Time: 30-45 minutes (writing varies)                Grades: Kindergarten


Writing Lesson Instructions

1) Allow your students to decide what topic will be the focus of their writing.

2) Illustrate or trace the subject on black or dark paper and cut out shape.

3) Sponge paint, roller paint or color background to match the habitat or setting of subject silhouette on white paper.

4) Create or use pre-cut matted frame and glue or tape the frame to the background.

5) Attach the silhouette to the background using glue, tape, or 3-D dots.

6) Embellish the frame with additional elements that enhance their project and subject they chose.

7) Encourage various writing genres to enhance the visual.


Assess the students for their use of creativity and sense of subject setting. Depending on what you are evaluating will determine the outcome of your assessment. You can assess for oral presentation skills and comprehension of their ‘topic’ of study. Prepare the students in advance so they know that you are looking for. See “Other Ways to Use This Lesson”.

Other Ways to Use This Lesson

Visual imagery is the springboard to generate ‘joy’ in learning and writing, develop critical thinking and help students communicate their imaginations. This lesson explores all of this. Your students can enhance the frame with words; thus, creating a word frame. Depending on the age or abilities of your students, have them list nouns, plural nouns, adjectives, verbs or adverbs around the frame in marker. Have them list the words on paper and edit for spelling first. Maybe they can write the title on the frame only and embellish with other elements along the frame instead. Try to list synonyms or antonyms around frame related to the topic. Write specific vocabulary words and/or definitions around frame as well.

If time is of the essence, use pre-cut shapes of animals or other objects out of construction or foam paper. Try Styrofoam to create a 3-D effect.  Foam by Number Kits is a sure way to save time; just peel and stick. The use of stencils is a great way to utilize time as well. Perhaps you are teaching descriptive writing or informational paragraphs, research, riddles or expository writing. No matter what your genre of writing, allow your students to explore their creative writing and you will be amazed at what they will accomplish. These completed frames will be a wonderful addition to your bulletin board or counter-side. You can place the frames on mini art stands; have a gallery show and oral presentations in or out of class. Enjoy and have fun!

About the Author:

Kim WaltmireKim Waltmire is a state and national award-winning educator. She holds an honorary seat with the 2006 USA Today All-Star Teacher team. Kim is a graduate from CCSU with a Masters in Early Childhood Education. She published a writing & literacy book; Picturesque Writing, now self-published as The Art of Visual Writing for elementary teachers K-5. Kim also published a Read-Along Series for primary grades, coupled with spelling, grammar, science and social studies lessons for k-12 with a home-school company. Her writing and Project Based Learning strategies were recognized and published in the Creative Classroom Teacher’s magazine; May/June 1998 issue. She was recognized for her educational contributions and Project Based Learning by Oprah Winfrey, interviewed on CNN, Fox News, and honored by the CT State Governor several times. Kim has taught elementary school for 28 years and presently an Educational Literacy Consultant. Kim’s passion is teaching writing literacy for all learning styles.

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