Identity Shadow Play–Middle School

The process

While student teaching in middle school, I led the kids through a unit on identity including costume building and painting.  The first step was to play around with props behind the back-lit screen.








After that, they viewed slides on shadow play and I asked them questions about identity and how they can change theirs.  They then came up with sketches for their costumes that they would be making in sculptural form out of paper or cardboard.















They could design any character, animal or object they desired, but they had to brainstorm at least two sketches first and check in with peers before coming to me with their final plan. Then they went to work constructing their costumes.









Standing behind the screen gave them a chance to show off and experiment with the final touches in front of a peer audience who would take pictures of them on the student’s phone for use as a referent in the painting later.

They used the photos they took of their costumes to create either a rub-out painting or an alla prima (wet on wet) one, giving them a choice of technique.