Opening Windows - Pop Art Style

We often say that literature can open a window into new worlds, deepening our students’ empathy and understanding. In this lesson, we'll explore how to harness this power by photographing an actual window and using Markup to transform its view into a setting or event from a story. 


"Opening Windows - Pop Art Style" title graphic with a window looking out into the Secret Garden.


The objective of this lesson is to utilize photography and the Markup drawing tools to visually represent settings and events from literature. By following the basic steps of the Create Pop Art project, students will creatively transform window views into depictions of stories. This activity is an effective strategy to help students visualize the content they are reading and dig deep to find details that can enhance their drawing. This assignment can be scaled for learners of any age using grade appropriate passages, short stories, or entire books as the basis for their project.


Begin the lesson by discussing the concept of literature as a gateway to new worlds. Encourage students to consider how stories can transport readers to different places and times, evoking emotions and deepening understanding. Prompt students to reflect on the idea of using a window as a symbolic portal into these literary worlds. Ask questions such as:

  • How can a window symbolize the connection between the reader and the story?
  • What do you think you might see when looking through a window into a story?
  • What kinds of details should you notice while reading that could be added to a drawing of a story?
  • How can we use photography and Markup to bring these imagined settings to life?


Students will engage in close reading and analysis of a chosen text to identify key settings, descriptions, and details. Encourage students to pay attention to descriptive language and sensory details that paint a picture in their minds. (For my example, I drew a scene from The Secret Garden by by Frances Hodgson Burnett. My view looks into the garden, showing the gate, the key, and a shadowy girl walking the path. I tried to convey a mood that was both beautiful and mysterious.)


Provide guidance on how to effectively capture a photograph of a window with an iPad. The teacher may also choose to supply the students with copyright friendly photos of a variety of styles of windows to use for this project.

Students will use Markup tools to creatively transform the photograph of the window into a visual representation of the story. Follow these steps to guide students through the design process:

  • Open the photograph of the window in Edit. Follow the directions in the Create Pop Art project to convert the photo into black and white by adjusting the contrast and saturation. Save and duplicate the photo frequently as you work in case of mishaps during the drawing process.


A black and white photo of a window, with a blue colored background

  • Open Markup and use the marker tool to color the area outside the window frame. Outline the window with a white border and use a thin black pencil to add details. See the directions in the Create Pop Art project for detailed steps.


A photo of a window containing a drawing a garden. Markup drawing tools are on the left side of the image.

  • Use the Markup drawing tools to color inside the window to depict the story setting. Students can draw elements such as landmarks, characters, objects, and weather as part of the scene. 
  • Add the title somewhere in the drawing to complete the project. 

Student Reflection:

After completing their drawings, students will reflect on the process and the connections between the visual representation and the original text. Students can demonstrate their learning orally, in writing, or through and audio or video recording. Prompt students to consider the following reflection questions:

  • How did visualizing the setting through the window frame enhance your understanding of the story?
  • What details did you include in your drawing, and how do they relate to the descriptive language in the text?
  • How does your drawing capture the mood or atmosphere of the story setting?
  • Did you encounter any challenges while creating your drawing, and how did you overcome them?


This activity could be adapted to explore other elements of literature such as characters, events, or story themes. Students might photograph a door or a mirror instead of a window. Additionally, students can collaborate by creating a series of window drawings that collectively represent different aspects of the same story, providing multiple perspectives on the narrative.

Do you have any ideas on how this Window Pop Art project could be integrated into your classroom? Share your thoughts in the comments below. Thank you!

Learn how to Create Pop Art today >


Banner image "Create Lessons that Pop"

All Comments

Posted on April 10, 2024

Excellent example of pop art! I really like your drawing style too - great job!

Posted on April 12, 2024

Thanks, Dave. I really enjoyed testing out some of the newer drawing tools in Markup that have more texture and realism, especially the watercolor one!

Posted on May 13, 2024

Fantastic idea! Thank you for sharing!

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