Future Project: Silhouette Stories

Essential Question: How can we honor and represent cultural folktales through silhouette art?

Product- Silhouette Animation & Artist's Statement

Students will work collaboratively in Art and Humanities create an original silhouette animation to represent a key scene from the cultural mythology they have studied through the project. A quality animation will include multiple frames representing more than one character from a cultural myth or fable and how they function in the myth. The animation will flow smoothly and have a logical progression for the audience.

When exhibiting these animations to several audiences, students will present a written artist's statement along with it that explains the myth being represented, key literary elements and themes from the story, and their process in creating the piece. 

Audiences: Parents, school community, and UCSD Visual Arts students. 

Key Learning Goals


  1. Students will learn deeply about a cultural folklore or legend and will be able to represent it through a piece of art and written analysis. 

  2. Students will be able to intentionally represent story elements in their art and connect them in an artist’s statement. 

  3. Students will be able to demonstrate craftsmanship as they compose and assemble a silhouette animation.

Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works such as the Bible, including describing how the material is rendered new.

Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

Anchor Texts

Myths and Legends: An Illustrated Guide to Their Origins and Meanings- Philip Wilkinson

CommonLit Mythology Set

Percy Jackson and the Olympians- selections from book and movie

D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths

by Ingri d’Aulaire and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire

The Storm Runner- J.C. Cervantes

Akata Witch -Nnedi Okorafor

The Dragon Warrior- Katie Zhao

Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard- Rick Riordan

The Red Pyramid- Rick Riordan

Commitment to Cultural Responsiveness

Cultural responsiveness and criticality show up in several ways in this project. Students will have the opportunity to select from several cultural mythologies to study throughout the project and to represent in their final products, as well as the opportunity to choose an unlisted culture and bring in mythological stories.

This will allow students to have more control over their interaction with the material and to allow them to build the skills and content knowledge through cultural stories they are comfortable with or interested in. 

Cultural Mythologies will include: Mesoamerican, West African, Chinese, Greek, Norse, and Egyptian.


Professional Model

Silhouette Animation by Janne Marete Grødum

This short film by Janne Marete Grødum serves as professionally created inspiration for students developing their own animated silhouette films. This model contains the story elements and craftsmanship students should aim for in their final products.