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how to paint the northern lights
How to Paint the Northern Lights
11 Jan, 2015. 12 Comments. A Day In First Grade, Crafts, Kindergarten, Kindergarten Science. Posted By: Kristen Smith

how to paint the northern lightsThis week my students have been loving learning about the Arctic. They have been so interested in all the different animals that live there and have retained so many facts about each one. It’s been so great to see my students take the knowledge that they have been learning, and transfer it into their kid conversations and writing!

By far, one of my students’ favorite things they learned about was the Northern Lights. They could not get enough of looking at pictures, listening to stories, and watching videos of the spectacular light show. Therefore, we just HAD to extend their learning with a craft. I wanted my students’ paintings to really display the movement of the Northern Lights and used a watercolor technique that really worked.

First, I put a table cloth down on the tables because I knew this would not be a neat project! I also used liquid watercolors to showcase the vivid colors of the lights.

painting the Northern Lights

The first step in the project was to wet the entire piece of paper. I gave each student a sponge and a cup of water and had them “paint” the paper with water. (By making the paper wet, it caused the paint to “dance” on the page.)

After their paper was wet, they then used their favorite pictures as inspiration and painted the Northern Lights.

Arctic activities for kindergarteners.043

I showed them how to create movement with their paint by creating layers of color.

Arctic activities for kindergarteners.020 Arctic activities for kindergarteners.021

Finally, after their entire paper was covered, we once again went over the paint with a wet sponge.

This resulted in a really neat end result. Once dry, we added black mountains to their art project and hung them up for everyone to see!

northern lights Arctic activities for kindergarteners.042

My students were so proud of the way they came out!

If you want to do this project you only need four things:

*Cardstock

*Water Colors

*Sponges and water

*Black Construction Paper (for the mountains)

I hope that you are having a great day! Stop by again soon to see how we are using the Arctic in our math lessons!

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12 Comments
  1. What did you use for the black? Is that tempera?

    • Tessa, it is actually just black construction paper!

  2. Sara -

    I would love to do this with my children! So beautiful! I’m wondering what kind of watercolors you used. I don’t think our set of Crayola watercolor paints would create such vivid colors. Thanks!

  3. Terry Yordan -

    What texts did you use for example of what northern lights look like? I seemed to see some kind of a text in your post.
    THYordan@aol.com

  4. Shelby -

    Hello there, I love your site! I was wondering what the title of that book is called.. or if it was one you made. Please let me know, we are doing the northern lights in a couple of weeks. Thanks!

    • Shelby- I wrote that book, it is in my “arctic” pack! :)

  5. Erin -

    Any way to post a bundle of the magazines together? They would be perfect for first grade small group close reading. I am just looking for the magazines, not the other materials as we have a reading and phonic program we must follow. The magazines would be something I could incorporate pretty easy. Thanks!!

    • Erin, my “inquiring minds” pack might be perfect for you. It has quite a few magazine articles for your students to enjoy! :)

  6. Can you tell me more about lathering the colors? It looks like you “stacked” the colors (not sure that’s the best word) like a rainbow.
    I’ve been wanting to try Northern Lights for rubber stamping, but never thought of water colors.

12 Comments

  • What did you use for the black? Is that tempera?

    • Tessa, it is actually just black construction paper!

  • Sara -

    I would love to do this with my children! So beautiful! I’m wondering what kind of watercolors you used. I don’t think our set of Crayola watercolor paints would create such vivid colors. Thanks!

  • Terry Yordan -

    What texts did you use for example of what northern lights look like? I seemed to see some kind of a text in your post.
    THYordan@aol.com

  • Shelby -

    Hello there, I love your site! I was wondering what the title of that book is called.. or if it was one you made. Please let me know, we are doing the northern lights in a couple of weeks. Thanks!

    • Shelby- I wrote that book, it is in my “arctic” pack! :)

  • Erin -

    Any way to post a bundle of the magazines together? They would be perfect for first grade small group close reading. I am just looking for the magazines, not the other materials as we have a reading and phonic program we must follow. The magazines would be something I could incorporate pretty easy. Thanks!!

    • Erin, my “inquiring minds” pack might be perfect for you. It has quite a few magazine articles for your students to enjoy! :)

  • Can you tell me more about lathering the colors? It looks like you “stacked” the colors (not sure that’s the best word) like a rainbow.
    I’ve been wanting to try Northern Lights for rubber stamping, but never thought of water colors.

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