Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Background, Middle ground, Foreground

- Shoebox (one for each child)
- Drawing Paper
- Scissors
- Gluesticks
- Colored Pencils/ Markers/ Watercolor Pencils

To teach background, middle ground and foreground, I thought it would be a neat idea to actually make all three perspectives of a scene.

1. Cut off lid if attached to shoe box.

2. Trace shoebox onto piece of paper. This will be their background. Remind students that it is the very back of their scene, meaning, what will be behind everything. Avoid all the details they may want to include because it will most likely be covered. I demonstrate what I mean by looking outside the window, explaining what we see first is the window, then the hills, and behind the hills is the sky. Most students then realize to draw a sky scene.

4. When finished, cut and glue into the inside of the shoebox.

5. Trace shoebox onto another piece of paper. This will be the middle ground. Students can not have anything floating in the air because it will be cut off and have no way of attaching later. When they are done drawing, I look it over and help them add tabs to the edges, which get folded over and glued to the inside of the box, spaced in front of the background.

This was an example I showed the students if they chose to use watercolor pencils and how they work.

6. Trace box one last time for the foreground. I suggested choosing something to depict as if it is what we were looking through to views the scene, ie. a window, binoculars, snowboarding googles, etc. Whatever they chose, though, had to be a "frame," or something that was depicted on all four sides.

When that was looked over, I helped add tabs to the edges and demonstrated how to pinch their paper and cut a slit so their scissors would fit inside to cut out the center.

The tabs were then glued to the outside of the shoebox.


  1. Thanks for the award nomination!

  2. We used to do this in school too! I did mine of a safari. Instead of shoeboxes, we also used to make pyramids, those were pretty cool too. Good job, HANNAH!!