Mrs. Van Eck
Grade 4
Lesson Title: Shadow Boxes with Bottles
Lesson Link: There are things that we value in our lives. This lesson will call on students to determine
what it is that they value and then to communicate this idea in the form of a shadow box. Using
common elements, in this case, five replicas of colored glass bottles made from laminated paper, they
will show what it is that they value through the use of pictures, words, and found objects arranged in
the shadow box. The students will also experience the benefit of using an assembly line in creating the
cardboard shadow boxes.
State Standards
24.A.2d Identify and describe the elements of 2- and 3- dimensional space, figure ground, value and
form; the principles of rhythm, size, proportion and composition; and the expressive qualities of symbol
and story.
25.B.2 Understand how elements and principles combine within an art form to express ideas.
25.B.2d Demonstrate knowledge and skills to create works of visual art using problem solving,
observing, designing, sketching and constructing.
1. Students will be able to explain how to construct a shadow box through the use of an assembly
line and identify the advantages of using an assembly line to create multiple pieces.
2. Students will be able to identify at least one artist who has created shadow boxes.
3. Students will visually describe the differences in size, color and shape of five glass bottles.
4. Students will be able to describe what a collage is and compile images, found objects and words
to communicate an idea about themselves within a collage.
5. Students will assemble a shadow box including drawings of the five glass bottles arranged in
front of a collage.
Can identify and demonstrate how an assembly line works
Makes use of pictures, found objects and words to communicate memories and values from life
Demonstrates skill in drawing bottles to the appropriate shape and size
Employs good craftsmanship in arrangement of 2D and 3D objects in shadow box.
Teacher Resources:
Five colored glass bottles
Visuals of shadow boxes by Joseph Cornell :
17” x 17” squares of colored tag board
White sulphite
Water colors
Pictures, photographs, found objects
Colored markers
Colored pencils
Teacher will introduce the idea of how a shadow box can be used as an art form, using visuals of shadow
boxes created by the artist, Joseph Cornell. Teacher will challenge students to come up with an idea or
value that they would like to communicate about themselves through the use of the shadow box. All of
the shadow boxes will share a common element – the cut out forms of five glass bottles arranged in the
forefront of the shadow box.
Day 1
Teacher will lead discussion on assembly lines and how they were developed to speed up the
manufacturing process. Class will discuss the benefits of them. Teacher will explain that the students
will be creating an assembly line to build enough shadow boxes for each student to have one. Teacher
will arrange students into groups and then demonstrate the steps to folding a shadow box using poster
board squares. Each group will have a copy of the step that they are to perform. Some of the students in
each group will be in charge of quality control so that the shadow boxes are correctly made before
passing on to the next group.
Day 2
Students are to bring in pictures, found objects and printed words to use in creating a mini collage for
the back of the shadow boxes. Teacher will supply pictures from magazines. Students can also draw
pictures or write words that help them communicate their ideas. Students will use this class to cut out
and arrange the items and glue them down on a piece of white sulphite that will fit into the back of the
shadow box.
Day 3
Teacher will display five colored glass bottles and discuss how they compare to each other in size and
shape. Teacher will demonstrate how to draw the bottles as students practice drawing them on scratch
paper. Students will then draw the bottles as realistically as they can on a piece of white sulphite that is
not taller than 6” in order for the bottles to fit into the shadow boxes. Students will paint the glass
bottles in the appropriate colors.
Days 4 – 5
Students will cut out each bottle. Teacher will laminate them so that they appear to be shiny and have
enough thickness to stand up. Students will use tape and tag board scraps to back bottles so they will
stand in the forefront of the shadow boxes. Class will critique shadow boxes.
Day 6
Class Critique

Mrs. Van Eck WCS Art Grade 4 Lesson Title: Shadow Boxes with