Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Moonlit Fireflies

phase 1

We just started our new art class session this week. All my students (K-5th) are creating a moonlit tree landscape with fireflies. I haven't seen a firefly since I lived in Atlanta 0ver 13 years ago. What a treat to look out and see the tiny glows in a summertime sky.
We learned that there are over 1900 species of fireflies in the world, 170 in North America. Antarctica is the only continent without them. The chemical that makes the fireflies glow produces no heat. It is meant to attract mates and warn predators.

We created the base of our pieces on black construction paper (they could choose between horizontal or vertical). We used a dry brush method with acrylic paint, no water necessary. They were given blues, greens and purple and were encouraged to use broad horizontal strokes. A moon was painted with circular motions to give a glowing effect. Some children will create their trees using oil pastel and the older children will have the option of using paint. They can add other dry brush effects with metallic paint to mimic the firefly glow. And finally they will dot their sky with the end of their paint brush dipped in white and yellow for added glow.
On a small strip of poster board the children draw their fireflies. They can add color with colored pencil or markers. (Some of my older elementary children chose to make realistic fireflies versus cartoon ones.) Once these are cut out, I have flower wire to create some antennae that is taped to the underside and can manipulated to their liking. The fireflies are then arranged and glued to their base. Many more to post.


  1. Oh these are so sweet! I feel like there should be a story to go with them. Maybe one of your kids could write it?

  2. Loving these! Esp on a cold dreary day like today! Love them again! :)

  3. beautiful and inspirational!! LOVE THEM!!!

  4. I LOVE this, and will being trying it next week! I'll post the results!! Great idea! Thanks for the Stylish blogger award too!!!!!

  5. Such a great project. I am addicted to children's books and when I saw this project it reminded me of the book Ten Flashing fireflies. I think I will use them together for a project with my children. Thanks for the idea and here is a link to the book... http://www.amazon.com/Ten-Flashing-Fireflies-Philemon-Sturges/dp/1558586741/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1299339561&sr=1-1

  6. very cool. brings back childhood memories of growing up in the suburbs of philly. one of the things i wish we had out here in san diego.


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