Stained Glass Window Activities

Most of our art study this year is going to be centered around particular artists who lived during the Middle Ages.  However there are a few one-off topics I’d like to cover – illuminated manuscripts being one and stained glass windows being another.  So I decided now was a good time to look at the stained glass windows, especially because many depict the birth of Christ – a perfect Christmas theme.  We used the following books to learn more about stained glass windows in the middle ages:

In addition to this I allowed the children some computer time using google to search and read about stained glass windows.  The websites that were useful included the following:

We did a picture study, using photos of the medieval stained glass windows found in Mancroft Parish church in Norfolk’s portraying the Christmas story  .  We all agreed it was phenomenal art work:


As a preliminary activity, I asked the children to use the photos of the stained glass windows and choose a detail to replicate.  I had some small sheets of plastic for them to draw their chosen image in permanent pen and colour in.  I showed them how to incorporate colour into the back ground.  We had done some stained glass window work when we studied the Celts and I had found that the children drew a tiny image in the middle of their space.  So this was done to remind them to fill the space fully:





A4 coloured in some premade sun catcher stained glass windows from an incomplete kit I’d bought secondhand:



And finally I let the children loose on the kit, also bought second-hand, which I’d been saving for this very day:


They chose the object they wanted to paint and using the black tube of thick goop (unlabeled so who knows what it was?) they created the outline of their picture, big and bold; ensuring all the ‘lead’ lines met creating complete areas for the paint to go:

T10 and the black goop tube
Their items before painting
And painted

We’re really pleased with the results!


  1. Thank you for linking to our post. You have really good pieces of stained glass art work here! I especially like the bottle made from the box set.

  2. Wanted to let you know that we are following a very similar curriculum for our seventh grade year. I enjoy reading your blog and have gleaned some great ideas as well. Thank you!

  3. Your windows are BEAUTIFUL!! What a wonderful hands on project! Thanks for linking up to TGIF! Have a great week =-)

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