Dearest Studio Friend,


We are thinking of you now and each and every day that we are away from Studio. Let’s find creative and imaginative ways to play and share with each other. Let’s find ways to plant a garden of happiness and creativity each day through projects and adventures. We will explore things that you can connect to from your very own window, from inside your home, and also outside in our city and in nature.





Sun & Shadow

The sun is at the center of life on Earth—it is its heart. The sun warms Earth and gives light, but it also spreads shadows. Throughout the day shadows have a life of their own as they are always changing. 

Can you remember the last time you found your shadow? It appears, disappears, grows and shrinks, widens and thins throughout the day. Our shadows can be more interesting than the sunlight and the objects that make them. This week, we'll go in search of shadows within our environment.


We'll play and dance in gardens of shadows cast by the sun. We'll look for and find them. Shadows hide and emerge again, and they can tell us the time and the mood of the day. We’ll learn so much about the movement of Earth around the sun, our sunrise, our sunset, and all places of light and dark that are a part of nature's movement. Inspired by sun and shadows, let this adventure begin!



Finding & Creating Them

Wherever you are, at any time during the day, outside or near a window, you can begin:

  • Find the sun in the sky. Is it dim, covered by clouds, or behind an overcast sky? Or is it bright, strong, and hot? 

  •  Find shadows of any object that stays in one place, like a tree or something in the window in your house.

  • Draw or sketch the object and the shadow that the object and sun create. 

  • Let time go by throughout the day and come back to your drawing. Now that the time of the day has gone by, where is the shadow of that same object now? And where is the sun now?

  • Using a different color than before, you might want to sketch the new shadow on your drawing.

  • When do shadows disappear? When the sky is overcast and cloudy, are shadows still there? 

  • Imagine how else the shadows might change as Earth rotates through the day, morning, afternoon, and late afternoon. 

  • Where does the sun rise and set from your own home?




When an object is opaque, it doesn’t allow light to pass through. That means you cannot see through it.

The curtains are opaque so no sunlight comes through them. The curtains keep the room dark. 


Explore, Draw & Sketch 

Continue to explore how the sunlight moves and creates shadow shapes around you all day.


Sometimes we cannot find shadows because the sun hides behind clouds or is not bright enough. On those days we can also use a lamp like the sun, and see the shadows the lamp creates.) As you explore, draw or sketch what you discover about sunlight and how it makes shadows. You can also draw the way the sun looks moving through different clouds as the clouds move in the sky.

·      At what time of day do shadows look small, long, tall, or wide?

·      Can you run with your shadow? As your direction changes, how does the shadow change? Notice where the sun is when you run. And where is your shadow?

·      Close your eyes and hold your face up to the sun. Feel its warmth. Hold your hand out to the sun. Feel its warmth on your palm.

·      Sometime during the day, find an object that has a shadow, and see how the shadow of that object fades or changes size and direction as the sunlight changes.

·      Use your body, curtains, or an object to try to block sunlight (or lamplight) and make a shadow shape change or disappear.

·      Use tissue, translucent colored paper, opaque paper, shiny metallic objects, and other objects held up to the sunlight to create your own shadows.



Let’s learn the sign language for Shadow, Sun, and Light 


Here is the sign for Shadow:


Here is the sign for Sun:


Here is the sign for Light:


Remember the signs for Shadow, Sun, and Light  and share them  a few times per day with your friends and family.



All light creates shadows, but the sun creates the biggest shadows on Earth. When you hold your hand up to the sky, you feel the warmth and light of the sun. Your hand also makes a shadow. When an object, place, or person on Earth feels the sun, a shadow, in some size and direction, is cast. Here you will explore shapes and dimensions of the shadows that people, places, and things create, as if making a garden of shadows.

Find some small objects in your house that have different shapes from each other. Find also different papers and other materials, such as waxed paper, tinfoil, writing paper, construction paper, and tracing paper. Bring these items outside in the sun or into a sunny spot in your house.

See what shapes--and even colors--you can create through using your different objects and papers.

·      Are some of your objects transplucent? Can you see through them? Do they make colors in their shadows?

·      Do some of your objects or papers catch the light or make it sparkle or scatter?

·      What happens if you put two of your objects in the sun together, and then observe the shadow or shadows created?

·      Can you see your own shadow as you explore the shadows of your objects?

·      Can you see the shadow of a pet or a family member? What shapes do these shadows make?

Inside, you can also use a flashlight to make shadows. Imagine that the light is that of the sun. Shine the flashlight on some of your objects.

How do shadows change as you move the light around the object?


Ask and Explore:

How many shadows did you make and how are they each different? 
What is most unique about the shadows you created?
What did the translucent shadows look like? (These were made when light went through your object.)

What did the opaque shadows look like? (These were made when light could not go through your object.)

You might also find shadows outside created by street lamps, car lights, or moonlight. How are these shadows different?




Inspired by the luminosity of the sun, you found light, sketched

shadows that you found and created, and experimented with light.


You learned about opaque objects and translucent objects and what happens when light hits them: the light moves through translucent objects and the light is blocked by opaque objects. Windows are translucent and walls are opaque.


  • Trace your hand and fingers. Your hand can represent the sun and your fingers the sun's rays! 

  • Upon paper, cardboard, or whatever foundation you choose, you can decorate your drawings and designs and create textures on these designs with newspaper, recyclables, collage pieces and other gathered materials around your home. You can use these pieces to create small people, places, and objects in any shape at all. What kind of shadow would each of the small pieces that you created make if the sunlight was shining on them? 

  • Now you can use color's fire to offer sunlight to these objects. Use crayons, pastels, pencils, watercolors, or paint to create this sunlight.


Let’s learn the sign language for 

Opaque and Translucent. 

Which of your materials are translucent? Which are opaque? 




The artist, Michael Papadakis, loves to be in nature and use organic materials from

nature to create his art.


The most spectacular aspect of his art is that he loves to use the sun and a magnifying glass to paint.


He makes art through Heliography!


Michael paints cities and skylines, and family and friends, using the sun, heat, and his talent to create his images. His Studio is always outside in nature and he relies on strong sun rays in order to work

in his artform. 

Watch his process here!


The Wonder of Solar Eclipses

Solar eclipses occur when at special times and phases of Earth and the moon's rotation around the sun, the moon moves between the sun and Earth. At this point, the sun is mostly covered by the shape of the moon. 

A solar eclipse happens because the moon covers the light of the sun, only allowing for the outline of the sun's light to be visible from the earth. This then makes a shadow of the moon upon Earth! Eclipses are very unusual and only happen about once every year and half. The next solar eclipse over North America visits Mexico, the United States, and Canada on April 8, 2024. This will be the Great North American Eclipse!

See this video all about  Solar Eclipses:

Solar Eclipse




Shadows are always different, even when it comes to the same object, person, or place. The size and shape of the shadow depends on the amount and direction of light, as well as other factors in the sky, like clouds. Shadows are always changing.

  • Stand with your feet planted firmly on the floor, and allow your body to become the sun by stretching out your arms and hands and moving them in all directions.

Your arms and hands are rays of light! Spread light out from all sides of you. 

  • Keep your feet planted firmly; do not move them. But all other parts of your body can move: your head, knees, legs, torso, neck, arms, hands, and fingers. 

  • All that moves from your body is light expanding out from you. As you spread light, make sounds, any sounds you can imagine. All of the light and color has a sound.

  • Imagine yourself to be the most translucent object, like a window. How does it feel to have the sun pass through you? Perhaps you feel peaceful, easy, and calm. 

Now imagine yourself the most opaque object, like a large brick wall. How does it feel to have the heat of the sun landing hot on your surface but not pushing through? Perhaps you feel strong and immovable. 

  • Now, imagine you are a person, place, or another object. Take on its shape in your body. You can move as much as you want. Then, with great energy, say the word shadow. Become with your body that person, place, or object’s shadow. The shadow might jump, hop, skip, dance, lie flat on the floor, or attempt to fly. It might also change. Make any sound that shadow wants to make.

  • Use your voice and body to imagine and become the sun and shadows, their activity and voice. Each time you imagine the sun and shadows, remember their constant change, movement, colors, and sounds.




  • We breathe by becoming still and calm, our legs crossed before us.

  • Closing our eyes, we remember and imagine the sun and shadows, real or imagined.

  • Using our hands and arms to move with our breath, we twirl them, as we inhale from our nose or mouth.

  • Exhaling, also twirling our arms, we decide to make whatever sound we want, from singing to laughing, to howling, to humming, as we continue to focus on the sun and shadows made by the sun.

Here are our breaths: 

  • We breathe as the sun rises in the morning sky, spreading light farther over our part of Earth.

  • We breathe as the sun warms our part of the planet, and illuminates colors throughout our environment again.

  • We breathe as the sun hovers over us in a blue sky, or behind big, thick, opaque clouds, or behind small and thin clouds, making all sorts of shadows upon Earth.

  • We breathe as we remember that the sun is the biggest and closest star to our solar system and the Earth.

  • We breathe as we remember that it takes the light of the sun about 8 minutes to make it to Earth and to spread shadows.


Tue April 14-091.jpg

As Angus thinks and imagines all about sun and shadow this week, he will improvise and share with us music that tells a story about the sun rising and casting shadows in places all over Earth, and the busy activity that accompanies these shadows.


His musical pieces will tell the story of dusk arriving, the sun setting, and the shadows of the daytime moving into the shadows of the nighttime and all of the colors that appear.


He will explore the musical dynamics of crescendo and decrescendo to articulate his story of the sun going up in the sky, and the sun going down in the sky--with shadows abounding!

How to Play- Sun and ShadowAngus Davidson
00:00 / 10:03


Sun Ra was an American jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, and poet known for his music that explored all ways of playing freely and as a collaborator with other musicians and story tellers. Sun Ra and his band wanted music to be open, free, expressive, and unpredictable! Sun Ra also loved musical performances that experimented with expressing themes of outer space. He loved to dress up colorfully and to constantly change the name of his band, depending upon what they were performing, how they were feeling, and what they most believed in!

See these performances of Sun Ra and his band

Arkestra performing the calm collaborative

"Love in Outer Space"


and the loud and wildly playful

"Space Is The Place!"





Cactus Field

Have you ever heard of the Sahara Desert?


One of the largest deserts in the world is the Sahara Desert! The Sahara Desert is located in Northern Africa, and it is one of the places on Earth that is the hottest and receives the most sunshine throughout a year. 


While the Sahara desert is approximately the size of the entire United States of America, there are very few areas where people can actually live. There are some parts of the Sahara that have water, and there people explore and live, but these parts are tiny compared to how vast and arid this special place on Earth is. 


Believe it or not, while the Sahara is the hottest place on Earth, it is not the driest. Running through this great desert are several rivers, including the Niger River and the Nile River. 


While the main terrain of the desert are sand dunes, the desert also holds mountains, oases, and steppes with a lot of stones. On one of the mountain’s tops within the Sahara there is actually snowfall!

While the main terrain of the desert is made of sand dunes, the desert also holds mountains, oases, and steppes with a lot of stones. On one of the mountain’s tops within the Sahara there is actually snowfall!

Some of the animal creatures that can be found in different parts of this great place are gerbils, jerboas, cape hares,  desert hedgehogs, barbary sheep, oryxes, gazelle, deer, baboons, hyenas, jackals, sand foxes, weasels, and mongooses. There are over 300 different kinds of bird species there, and 4 different species of snakes roam the areas. 


The Sahara also is the home of 4 million people, with most living within the cities in the countries of Mauritania, Western Sahara, Algeria, Libya, and Egypt. 

Imagine the light and shadows and wind that are found in the Sahara Desert. You can

watch images of the Sahara desert here. 

Sahara Wind & Shadow

Sahara Light & Shadow




We’d love to know how you are creating and playing related to sun and and shadow. If you’d like to share your ideas, projects, and creative work with Studio and your class, you can send your teachers a photo of something that you did, made, or displayed. Each week we will put together a mosaic to share with your class and our Studio community with all shared pieces included.  


Find ways to go about your day also being able to be independent in some

of your daily tasks, activities, and play. 

Here is the sign for Independent!

Make a plan to at certain times of the day be independent in the things that you do and the ways that you play.

Is there a specific book, toy, art or building project, or coloring book that you can get involved with in a part of your home independently? Perhaps there are puzzles, dolls and other play characters, or music you can play or listen to. Perhaps you can listen to an audiobook!  You can be near or far from other members of your family - while practicing creative

and independent play time.

Child Painting Model Airplane
Children playing with soap bubbles on a

One of the ways to plan for independent play is to talk with your parents and family about what this time will be and look like. When will it happen, and can you all agree upon a time that this will happen? Perhaps after lunch there is a quiet time where all family members can go to their independent time and projects for a specific period.


Perhaps once everyone has focused on this independent time, you can come back together afterwards to share what happened for each one of you during this time. What did you learn? What did you create? Do you look forward to the next period of independence? 





If you have a daily schedule make sure to write this daily time of independence on that schedule. Maybe this time has a special name, and on certain days you enjoy specific types of activities and

on other days some different ones.


To prepare for your independent time, make a pile of things that you will be interested in during this period. You can also make a list of options to give you ideas of what you can go to when it is time to have fun and be independent.  


Be proud of your independence, when you are able to do things for yourself and spend time having fun independently with the activities that bring you the most joy!

Playing with Toy Vehicles
Beautiful asian girl playing ukulele, Ou