Starry Night Glow-in-the-Dark Shirts

Submitted by: Kirsten Schierman
Role in Education: Kindergarten and K-7 Art Teacher


Our whole school unit of study this year is the Solar System. For the culminating nighttime “Star Party” with our local astronomy club, I want to make shirts in the style of Van Gogh’s Starry Night. The silhouette will be of our school and surrounding town. We will use glow-in-the-dark paint for the stars and swirls, and spray dye for the rest. On the back of the shirts it will read, “For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.” ~Vincent Van Gogh

Education Level(s)

Pre-K/Kindergarten, 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 7-8


Arts & Music, Math & Science

Learning Objectives

Students will summarize their learning in the representation of celestial bodies on their shirts and use of impressionistic style. Much sharing of knowledge will come as they design their shirts in small groups, discussing artistic and celestial choices. In art class, we will study Van Gogh and impressionism with emphasis on brushstroke and use of perspective. We will be visiting our local art museum to see some of Van Gogh’s works. What better way to get “wrapped up” in art and science?!


We will need: 70 white t-shirts, glow-in-the-dark fabric paint, black and navy fabric paint, fabric dyes, spray bottles, paint brushes, and fabric pens to put the quote on the back of the shirt. Resources will include depictions of Van Gogh’s works, and art lessons leading up to the final project practicing impressionism. Outside resources will include a visit to the Impressionist Exhibit touring our local art museum at that time.

Other Information

Orchard Prairie is Washington State’s smallest and oldest continually running school district. We have 70 students K-7, & many are 5th generation. Our original school house from 1894 is still in use with the old bell rung on the 1st & last days of school. We love to use “family groups” for large projects such as this–one student from each grade level, the oldest being the group leader. This multi-age model fosters authentic, experience-based learning as well as leadership for our students.

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