students to use between one and three
Forming a Theme
contrasting colors within one object or
background. This can include silver
pieces as well.
After CDs have been painted
and cut, have students place col-
ors in separate, sealable plastic
bags and store them in plastic
Prior to composing and glu-
ing their CD pieces onto foam
backgrounds, students should
form small groups and discuss
possible themes and images
for their finished pieces. Ideas
reflecting culture, history,
present-day events, or their own
personal lives can be utilized as
themes. Review composition and
spatial considerations and encourage
the use of fairly simple shapes.
Painting the Background
Have students draw giant circles on
foam insulation panels and carefully
cut them out with utility knives. Paint
the circles with black acrylic and let
Show how to cut both pre-painted
and unpainted CD pieces with scissors. Using short, sequential slices
while opening scissors wide helps to
Recommend that students use the
unpainted silver pieces for part of the
artwork only, as these are more difficult to cut. On the other hand, point
out that the silver pieces have a very
strong “mirror quality” that contrasts
wonderfully against color.
Demonstrate painting the pieces
both opaquely and transparently.
Recommend adding a touch of white
to the paint to make it opaque and
advise painting the discs in a streaky
or “painterly” way, in order for the
stained-glass look to become pronounced.
Emphasize that color contrast
is essential and that the difference
between color hue and intensity is
enormous. If the intensity is not apparent, colors won’t contrast as well due
to their transparent nature. Encourage
Apply pieces to the painted foam with
white glue, using a brush to apply it
neatly to the backs of the pieces, then
When complete, conduct a class
evaluation based on group effort and a
rubric based on following directions,
composition and spatial considerations, technique, creative subject
matter or theme, and use of color contrast and intensity.
Kathleen Snoderly taught this lesson at
Mountaineer Middle School in Morgan-town, Pennsylvania.
mosaic” and have them attempt to
identify the material used.
Put on goggles and explain that while
CDs are much safer to work with than
glass, pieces can still become flying
Students intentionally take advantage
of the qualities and characteristics of
art media, techniques, and processes
to enhance communication of their
experiences and ideas.