The art concepts that the children learn with this project are the parts of a landscape (foreground, background, ground, sky), as well as collage, cutting with scissors & working on a multi-step, multi-layered project. The children can rip the paper for the ground and use geometric shapes (squares and rectangles) to create the semicircular igloo. They create their own shape for the moon--that can vary quite a bit and they are all darling. Pastels can be messy, and this project uses that to its advantage! The pastels are perfect for the bright colors and streakiness of the Aurora Borealis, or Northern Lights.
There are also great literature, music, science and cultural links to this project as well: the Northern Lights are part of the rich spiritual culture of the Inuit people (indigenous people of the arctic), as are igloos. The Inuit people live in stick framed houses now, but there are still times when igloos are used as shelter today. Igloos are temporary shelters that can be erected in as little as two hours! WOW!
There are many tales associated with the Northern Lights. I found a great book called The Fiddler of The Northern Lights by Natalie Kinsey-Warnock about the Northern Lights, that is a bit of a different tale. In the book, there is a man from Cape Breton who plays the fiddle and his music makes the Northern Lights dance. I was fortunate to find that my library had two CDs of fiddle music from Cape Breton--so I could share this great music with my students!
I hope you enjoy this lovely little lesson!
Igloo Landscape With Northern Lights
- 12" x 18" piece of black construction paper
- 1 bulletin board border from the dollar store (or you can cut a wavy template from poster board)
- Masking tape and clear cello tape
- Chalk pastels
- Elmer's glue (or other white PVC glue)
- White construction paper (some ripped into strips, some cut into 1" squares)
- Semi-circle to trace for igloo shape
- Scrap of yellow construction paper (for moon and window)