crackle finish frame
Posted Mar 19, 2015 by Elmers
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    Celebrate Family with a Crackle Finish Frame

    Using literature as a springboard, students will create a rustic keepsake photo frame to celebrate the importance of family.
    • 2 - 5
    • 1 hr
    • Social Studies, Language Arts, Art

    How do I get my class and myself ready? This lesson plan should give you everything you need to be prepared for the material.

    Lesson Plan Objective(s)

    Students will use literature as a springboard to reinforce the importance of family. 

    Students will create a keepsake photo frame to celebrate their learning. 

    Students will learn about texture and experiment with crackle patters when various media are combined.  

    Background Details

    The Old House by Pamela Duncan Edwards is a heartwarming picture book about an empty house that is sad because it has no family inside. 

    Recommended Reading & References

    The Old House by Pamela Duncan Edwards

    Peter's Old House by Elsa Beskow

    Materials Needed

    Elmer's® X-TREME School Glue™ or Elmer's® Glue-All

    unpainted wooden photo frames (available at most craft stores)

    acrylic paint (at least two contrasting colors)

    paint brushes and water bowls


    Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.

    Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events

    How do I present the material? Here is the recommended approach, content and timing for presenting the materials.

    Lesson Instructions

    Begin the lesson by introducing the book The Old House by Pamela Duncan Edwards. Engage the students in a discussion about what they think the story about.  Ask them to describe things they might see in an old house.  Read the book aloud and share the illustrations.  

    When you've finished, ask the students to imagine what the old house may have looked like when it was new.  For example, what color was the house and how has the appearance changed over time?  Maybe it had bright yellow shutters or a blue door.  Talk about how the paint may be peeling to reveal a different color underneath.  Write student responses on the board or chart paper.  

    Next, discuss the importance of family and close friends.  Talk about the need for belonging and give students the opportunity to share important people in their lives.  Explain that you've shared this book as a springboard for a keepsake photo frame they will make for someone special in their lives.  

    Activities (group or individual)

    Provide each student with an unpainted wooden photo frame.  Make paint and glue available for small groups to share.  

    Instruct the students to paint the frame with a base coat of paint.  Explain that this is what will show through the cracks of the top coat when the frame is finished.  Let the paint dry completely.  

    Next, apply a generous amount of glue to the frame.  Use a brush to spread the glue over the entire frame.  A thicker coat of glue will create large cracks while a thinner coat of glue will create fine cracks.  

    While the glue is still wet, apply the top coat of paint (a different color than the base coat).  Greater contrast in colors will create a more vivid effect.  Avoid dragging the brush over the glue more than once so that you don't pick it up on the brush.  An even application of paint in smooth lines will produce the best effect.  

    Let dry completely.  

    Download and print the Parent Letter (in the Resources section) to communicate the purpose of this activity and provide them with the instructions to create a project at home with their children.  

    Did my students achieve the lesson objective?

    Discussion Questions

    Why do you think the cracks appear when you paint over the glue?

    With whom will you share this special gift?

    Can you think of other items you might paint using the crackle finish technique?

    Helpful Tips and Tricks

    Download and print the Parent Letter to communicate the purpose of this activity and provide them with the instructions to create a project at home with their children.  

    Lesson Plan Downloads


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