What do YOU see in a shadow? In the same way that we sometimes see recognizable shapes and forms in cloud formations, this activity invites learners to use their imaginations and share what they see in shadows. Inspired by artist Vincent Bal, this open-ended prompt encourages remixing and building on the ideas of others in different ways, and creates a series of inspiring images in the end.
Materials and Tools
You can make a shadow remix using a range of tools and materials. We value that there's no one specific tool required for tinkering and we love experiences that support the use of a variety of materials. Pick what's best for you and your learning.
Paper and pen: Use a flashlight and an object to cast a shadow on a piece of paper, and then use drawing materials to bring it to life! Or, trace your shadow on a piece of paper and draw what you see on top. For remixing, make photocopies of the shadow outline or take a picture of your shadow and share it with others.
Digital tools: Draw on top of a photo of a shadow using a photo-editing tool like Procreate or Markup on your smartphone or tablet. Or test out our shadow remix web app.
Chalk and sidewalk: Take your shadow remixing outside and use sidwalk chalk to reimagine what you see. Return to your drawing after a couple of hours and remix it using the new position of the shadow.
To get started with this activity, take a shadow walk to start noticing shadows in a different way. Once you choose or create a shadow, use pens and paper or digital drawing tools to bring your imagination to life. Take it a step further by thinking about different kinds of collaboration. Make a shadow for someone else to remix, or see how many different ways a group can reimagine the same shadow!
1. Start with a Shadow
Go on a shadow walk and look for compelling and surprising shadows. They may be outdoors or inside, made by the sun or a flashlight. See if you can find shadows that are naturally occurring or what shadows you can make with your own light. When you find one you like, take a photo or start working with it right there using a writing tool and a drawing surface. We value experiences that get learners noticing the world around them, whether identifying interesting shadows or playing with physical phenomena.
2. Bring it to Life
Like clouds in the sky, think of these shadows as a starting place to let your imagination run wild. Try out a few different ideas, or make a list of possible directions to go. Think about how your tools can help decide what direction you take. The big idea is *their* idea. We love supporting learners' ideas and divergent outcomes. Instead of following along step-by-step, encourage learners to connect to their own passions and make a shadow remix that's meaningful to them.
3. Share and Remix
While this activity is fun to do on your own, its even more fun to do with others. Share a shadow with friends and see how each person re-imagines its shapes. Are there similarities between drawings? What are some differences? Social-emotional learning is one of our key indicators of a tinkering experience. Encourage collaboration by sharing shadows between learners and host a reflective conversation looking at the final collection.
Shadow Remix Gallery
Part of the fun of Shadow Remixes is getting to create shadows, share them with friends, and see what they transform them into. We're doing an experiment to see how we can collect remixes of shadows and share them out. Please join in!
1. Download one of the shadows to remix in the top row.
2. Create a remix, and then add it to this gallery . You can also create shadows for others to remix.
3. Upload your remix or shadow by dragging and dropping it into the gallery or by clicking on the pink plus button to upload. Please include a Title and your Name (along with anything else you want us to know about your creation):
Story Time + Tinkering
We've collected a set of our favorite books to use as inspiration for engaging with specific tinkering activities as part of our Story Time + Tinkering initiative. Learn more about Story Time + Tinkering →
Book Pairing: Duck! Rabbit! by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and Tom Lichtenheld
Is this a duck or a rabbit? What happens when you add more context, like a sandwich in front of the duck’s bill or a carrot in front of the rabbit? This story explores differences in perspective in a playful way. You might pair it with shadow remixes by making a rabbit shadow with your hand, and then trying to turn it into a duck! Listen to Mr. Limata read Duck! Rabbit!