Glimpsing Galaxies

This project produced “out of this world” results! (OK, Bad pun, I know!) We began this lesson with three days of Galaxy Painting using watercolors. During this pandemic year, students are restricted to working at individual desks. Gathering for demonstrations is not allowed, so I recorded video tutorials of each technique. We began class by setting up our individual work spaces, watching the five minute (or so) demo video, then proceeded to create two paintings per class.

The techniques I taught the kids were loosely titled “Twilight”, “Nebula” and “Milky Way” and were based off THIS VIDEO.

On the fourth day, students rotated through a “star station” where they used white ink to create a splattered star effect on all six paintings. Thinned out white tempera can also work for this step, but regardless: designate a space in your class for this—it’s messy!

Here are some thumbnails of completed Galaxy Paintings

Once our paintings were complete, we started working on the Wall Drawing. Students chose their favorite painting to showcase through an illusion-like opening in their paper and decided on a vertical or horizontal format before drawing. We had recently completed a fun One Point Perspective drawing and those skills were utilized when it came to creating the 3D illusion of a breaking wall.

Once again, because of the pandemic, I created printed packets that helped the kids though each step of this wall drawing.  Detailed instructions take time to put together but increase student autonomy while decreasing their need to move around the room! If you teach five sections daily of the same grade level like me, it’s worth the time and effort: The packet helps the students work through the steps at their own pace and frees me up to troubleshoot or assist the more needy learners.

Here is a Downloadable PDF of my Instruction Packet:

Here are some Clip Art Files of Planets, aliens, UFO’s Galaxies, etc. for collage:

Here are some pictures of students working on various stages of the lesson:

Set-up for efficient painting and watching the Nebula Tutorial:

Students in the “Star Station”:

Some finished Galaxy Paintings, (Pre-stars!)—beautiful on their own.

Working on the Wall Drawing, Including adding Collaged Planets and Moons to the final piece:

Beautiful Galaxies!

You might be thinking: what did we do with the remaining five galaxy paintings??? We cut them up and made “Explosion Books”!

Find out how to make Explosion Books HERE!

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