I used to do a stained glass activity with my 5th graders that should be applicable to middle school and high school students, depending on how you structure the lesson.
The project is made on sheets of plexi glass, culled from cut-offs from framing jobs or donated scraps from glass companies. I re-cut these pieces into usable sizes, usually around 6x10 inches. Next, I have students draw an acceptable picture, complete with lead lines, on a corresponding piece of paper. This paper acts as a guide for the stained glass painting, because it is placed underneath the plexi. Each color is done with acrylic paint, mixed with gloss medium to make it translucent. Once the painting is done, kids then paint on the lead, which is either the pre-mixed leading one can purchase, or black acrylic mixed with a thick water-based glue. This leading is applied to the opposite side of the painted surface, because it looks more like real glass that way, and will cover up any irregular paint lines. These look like real stained glass when placed in a window or behind a light. Plexi has the added advantage of being able to be drilled for hanging.
When working such an activity with older kids, I would kick it up a notch by requiring a bit of research of real stained glass art, both ancient and contemporary, so the kids could draw a reference from which to work their own pieces. You could even have them imitate a particular era in their own interpretations. Of course, if you wanted a long-term project out of this activity, you could always increase the size of the plexi (if you are lucky enough to get larger stuff) and increase the complexity.
Hope this helps, Jerry
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