Birthday Baroque


Start a school birthday tradition! Use Crayola® Washable Window Markers or Crayola Window Crayons to draw self-portraits and birthday announcements on classroom windows.


1. Explore portrait painting styles of several different artists. The paintings of El Greco often include long, tall figures with faces longer and thinner than most people have. Rubens made many pictures of his children using chalk on brown paper. Look at his sketches for some ideas on how to capture your own face in a drawing. Rembrandt liked to look in the mirror and draw himself making faces with wild expressions. Think of an expression you could portray on your Birthday Baroque self-portrait.

2. Announce your birthday by drawing a self-portrait on the inside of a classroom window using Crayola® Washable Window Markers or Crayola Window Crayons. Create the design in your own style or try one of the portrait-painting techniques you studied. Draw outlines using the tip of the marker. Fill in large areas using the side of the marker tip.

3. Add a written announcement to your Birthday Baroque. Try your hand at reverse writing. Because the message will be read from the outside, write in large, backward block lettering on the inside of the window. Check out your Birthday Baroque announcement when you go outside!

Safety Guidelines

Adult supervision is required for any arts & crafts project. Observe children closely and intervene as necessary to prevent potential safety problems and ensure appropriate use of arts and crafts materials. Some craft items, particularly beads and buttons, are potential choking hazards for young children. Avoid use of such small parts with children younger than 3 years. Craft items such as scissors, push pins and chenille sticks may have sharp points or edges. Avoid use of materials with sharp points by children younger than 4 years. Read all manufacturers' safety warnings before using arts and craft supplies.

Windows—Be sure windows are securely closed and locked before decorating. An adult must closely supervise the activity.


  • Teachers may wish to preview work of El Greco, Rubens, and Rembrandt to select the most appropriate treatment of subjects for students.
  • Younger children and those with special needs may need assistance to write their messages in reverse on the window. One way is to write the message on thin white paper with a black marker, then tape it facing out on the window. You can see the message in reverse as the light shines through the paper. Copy each letter on the window with a Window Marker or Window Crayon.
  • Suggest that children draw pictures of their friends, school personnel, new siblings, or famous people on their birthdays, too.

Related Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

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crayola supplies
  • Window Markers
  • Window Crayons
household supplies
  • window



  • Pre-K and Kindergarten
  • Grades 1 to 3
  • Grades 4 to 6
  • Grades 7 to 12


  • Language Arts
  • Visual Arts


  • Less than 1/2 hour


  • Children explore the portrait painting styles of famous artists such as El Greco, Rubens, and Rembrandt.

  • Children create large-scale self-portraits to publicize their birthday on classroom windows.

  • Children challenge themselves to write words in reverse on the windows.


Research Canada Standards
Research UK Standards
Research U.S. Standards