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Back to Holiday Keepsakes Parents Will Love Lesson Plan
Picture Yourself in an Ornament


  • Arts & Humanities
    - Visual Arts
  • Educational Technology
  • Social Studies
    - Holidays


  • PreK
  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8

Brief Description

"Face" it -- this photo ornament will be one your students families are sure to treasure!


Students will

  • pose for a photo.
  • follow directions to create an ornament with their photo inside it.


ornament, Christmas, holiday, memento, keepsake, photo, gift

Materials Needed

  • clear plastic ornament, one per student (available in most craft stores and many large discount stores)
  • camera
  • fill material; for example, shredded red and green paper, potpourri, plastic snow, or another lightweight material

Lesson Plan

Note: This lesson requires a small up-front purchase of a clear plastic ornament for each student. Most large craft stores carry those ornaments. You might even find them on sale at many of large discount stores.

Begin the activity by taking a photograph of each student. Plan the photo shoot so

  • the photo is taken against a backdrop that is bright and colorful, but not too busy; students faces might not stand out against a dark background.
  • the image of the child (from the upper torso to the top of the head, allowing some area of color above the head) will fit inside the clear plastic ornament. For example, if you are using small ornaments, the part of the photo that includes the childs upper torso and head should be roughly 2 inches square if it is to fit inside the ornament; you will need to trim the excess parts of the image before inserting the photo into the ornament.

Provide students with their photos. (If possible, take digital photos and print them on paper rather than on heavyweight photographic paper; photos printed on paper will be slightly easier to work with.)

Next, hand out to each student one of the clear, plastic ornaments.

If students are young, you will probably want to remove the crown and looped pin from the top of the ornament. It will pull out easily. Older students should be able to do that on their own.

Demonstrate the next step in the process by taking your 2-inch-square photo and wrapping it -- not too tightly -- around a pencil. Wrap it with the image facing out toward you (rather than in, toward the pencil). Once wrapped, stick the pencil into the opening at the top of the ornament and let the photo unravel. Students faces will appear inside the ornament. Use your pencil to show how they can straighten out the photo so it tucks up as neatly as possible against the inside of the clear ornament.

Next step: Fill in the area behind the photo with shredded colored paper (green and red paper or crepe paper would be good for a Christmas ornament), potpourri, plastic snow, or some other festive fill. While red and green holiday M&Ms might make a festive fill, they will probably add too much weight to the ornament; when hung, that weight might force the crown and loop at the top of the ornament to pop out.

Finally, reinsert the crown and loop into the top of the ornament. Add a hook and the memento ornament is ready to hang! You might even write on the clear ornament the students name and "Christmas 2003."


Not applicable.

Lesson Plan Source

Education World

Submitted By

Gary Hopkins

National Standards

FINE ARTS: Visual Arts
NA-VA.K-4.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
GRADES 5 - 8
NA-VA.5-8.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes
GRADES 9 - 12
NA-VA.9-12.1 Understanding and Applying Media, Techniques, and Processes

NT.K-12.1 Basic Operations and Concepts (Digital camera and printer -- optional)

See more lessons and resources from Education World on our December Holidays Around the World Web page.

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