Teach Outside
Resources and inspiration for current and aspiring outdoor educators and those interested in a natural learning environment.

Shadow Drawing


Shadow Drawing

This activity encourages children to find new shapes and existing ones in the shadows made by things found outside such as trees, leaves, branches, buildings, and people. Encouraging their conversations about their drawings helps familiarize them with the spaces outdoors.


Drawing or painting materials (e.g. chalk, paints/paint brushes, markers, or pastels)

Outdoor space when shadows are found

Paper, large butcher paper small paper, preferably white


Find an open space outside where shadows exist. Children can use butcher paper to work together as they trace shadows with drawing/painting materials. Or children may use smaller paper for individual shadow drawings.

Encourage children to talk about what shadows they are tracing and what shapes, lines, and patterns they see.

Lesson plan by Andrea Martini. You are welcome to share all materials with credit to her.