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Lesson Plans by Discipline - Mixed Media


Recycled Plastic Collage
click to collapse

Grades K – 4

 

Grade Level

NEW! Confetti Bowls

If you've ever scooped confetti into the trash and wished it didn't have to be wasted, here's an idea for putting it to use — turn it into an intriguing, artistic bowl or plate.

3 – 8

NEW! Blow up a Butterfly

Create an O'Keeffe-like butterfly wing in close detail using Plike (plastic-like) paper. Next, add pastels along with iridescent and pearlescent mixing mediums to capture the affect of a butterfly's wing in close-up.

K – 8

NEW! Make a Fake Cake!

Using the paintings of Wayne Thiebaud as inspiration, students prepare visually delightful, deliciously decorated sculptural cupcakes using a new, voluminous finger paint that spreads like frosting, yet dries to a strong, durable finish.

Watch the Video

K – 8
Special Education

NEW! Curtain of Leaves Monoprint

Many artists have used trees as an inspiration for their work. Pressed leaves and texture tools are used to make one-of-a-kind, double-sided monoprints. Using a flexible printing block as a plate makes it easy!

Watch the Video

3 – 12

NEW! Shoe Shrine

Make a sculptural shrine from an outgrown or second-hand shoe! Primed with modeling paste, covered with ornate embellishments, and then aligned vertically, an everyday shoe can become a dramatic backdrop for relics that represent a student’s favorite thing, place, idea, or event.

3 – 12

Creative Quill Pens

For over 1000 years, the quill was the principle writing tool in the Western world. Imagine the stories, poems and sketches that can be made with a hybrid quill and dip pen designed to be a work of art in itself!

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Steampunk Entomology

Create a futuristic insect specimen using clay, discarded metal pieces, and wire. Make an air dry clay body, push wire legs, antennae and steampunk embellishments into the soft clay, add wings and let dry to harden! Embellish with paints, if desired.

Watch the Video

K – 12

Wayang Kulit Shadow Puppetry

Tell a story through a traditional Indonesian shadow puppet play! Make a puppet that looks like leather by dampening and crinkling black cardstock, then create interesting patterns with paper punches. Finish with metallic markers and glue to dowels!

K – 12

Anaglyph Artistry

Make a composition for viewing with 3-D glasses! Turn an original drawing into a three-dimensional anaglyph using red and blue transfer paper with red and blue markers. Then, make the 3-D glasses necessary to make it pop!

Watch the Video

2 – 12

Artist’s Challenge Coins (ACC’s)

Challenge Coins are specially designed and minted for service personnel to recognize an achievement, enhance morale, or to signify membership in (or experience on) a particular mission. Create a personal Artist's Challenge Coin (ACC) by making a small print, collage, stamp, or photo appliqué one side of a coin-shaped wooden disk, and a challenge or message on the reverse.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Butterfield Horse

Construct a high-relief horse using Activa Fast Mache and found objects. Combine a painted and collaged background with a horse made of quick mache, sticks, pine needles, leaves, and shredded papers in the style of Debra Butterfield.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Lessons on Lascaux

Create a cave wall that crackles with authenticity! Using a paste made with powdered tempera and a Dura-Lar stencil, make a beautiful 3-D cave creation.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Books that POP!

Paper engineering meets the principles of design! This procces breaks pop-up designs into three very basic techniques - spirals, zig-zags, and boxes - and focuses on design elements: color, form, shape, and space. A simple hinging technique using the ever-popular, colorfully patterned DuckTape allows the book to open and lie flat for the most eye-popping and paper-popping look!

3 – 12

The Secret Life of your Pet!

Disquise your pet or favorite animal in a fantasy environment with easy photo manipulation.

K – 12

All Aglow Chinese Lantern

An origami "Chinese Lantern" that glows in the dark! Using Dura-Lar film, markers, and glow-in-the dark paint, create a hanging lantern, and learn a basic origami shape.

3 – 12

Easy-Outline Botanical Illustration Prints

Although photography and modern printing processes have replaced the need for cataloguing plant life with detailed drawn and painted illustrations, botanical illustration is still a beloved art. To make an accurate rendering of a plant, students can create an impression in plaster, then trace the shape and details with colored pencil, ink, or watercolor. Mixing and shading for color accuracy and identifying the plant are some of the skills that will be learned in this exercise.

Watch the Video

K – 12

“Gawu” — African Inspired Tapestry

Ghana-born artist El Anatsui is known internationally for his large-scale sculptures called “Gawu,” a composite of the words “ga,” meaning something made of metal and 'wu,” meaning a fashioned garment. In this lesson, students create their own tapestries as a response to El Anatsui's art, using African kente to discover rhythm and pattern in art. Recycled materials can be used, including folded papers and labels.

K – 12
Special Education

Glue Paint Symmetry Prints

Finger Painting has never been so fun — or so very tidy! This project incorporates glue paint — basic white glue tinted with any shade of watercolor. It dries with a beautiful transparency that is enhanced when applied to a clear sheet. When the sheet is folded, the colors can be blended and moved about the page, without actually touching it!

K – 12
Special Education

Monet's Water Lilies

In the last 30 years of his life, French Impressionist Claude Monet produced a series of paintings depicting the flowers and pond in his garden at Giverny. He especially loved painting his water lilies and the reflections of the sky and trees floating in the water around them. In honor of Monet, here's an easy, elegant and inexpensive way to make a tissue paper lily that has the misty, atmospheric qualities an Impressionist would have loved.

K – 8

Sound Sculpture Inspired by Jean Tinguely

Swiss artist Jean Tinguely created whimsical machine-like contraptions of found metal parts, known as “metamechanics”. In this lesson plan, students create a kinetic sculpture with repurposed metal hardware, found objects, and wire placed so that they deliberately move against one another. Much like Tinguely’s machines, some of the noises may be pleasant — others may not— but each will have a very unique metallic, mechanical “voice.”

Watch the Video

3 – 12

New Guinean “Plant Paste” Doll

Make a hand-built ritual doll with only three simple materials! Knead together clay, instant papier mâché and burlap fibers to create an intriguing art doll. Add body paint and embellish by adding seed bead teeth, a shell necklace, or clothing made of burlap.

4 – 12

Recycled Jellies

Learn the anatomy of one of nature’s most fascinating creatures and make a model from some of the very materials that threaten their habitat — plastic bags and fast food containers. These colorful, sparkling jellies are even water-resistant!

Watch the Video

K – 5

Doodle Dancer

Mehndi, tatau, and modern "ink" - the history of art is incomplete without including the practice of creating decoration on human skin. In this lesson plan, students create a jointed clay marionette and use fine-line markers to cover it with expressive designs.

3 – 12

Miniature Treasure Keeper

Joseph Cornell's (1903-1972) most characteristic art works were boxed assemblages created from found objects. These were simple boxes in which he arranged surprising collections of photgraphs or bric-a-brac in a way that combines the formality of Constructivism with the lively fantasy of Surrealism. Students will gather pieces of nostalgia or found objects to embed in plaster within an arrangement of mini canvas "boxes".

K – 12

Paper Memory Quilt

The stitching together of layers of padding and fabric may date as far back as ancient Egypt. In America, quilt-making was common beginning in the late 18th century. A paper memory quilt is a fun way to keep ephemera (paper items) that have significance. This project will teach important design skills as pieces of paper are cut apart and reassembled. Insight into pattern, rhythm and repetition is gained.

2 – 12

Venetian Volto Mask

The Italian word “volto” translates as “face”. These full-face masks were known as “citizen’s masks” because they were originally worn by common people during the Carnival of Venice. By draping acrylic felt over a reusable form and using Rice Paste (a gluten-free maché alternative) to stiffen, students create a sculptural mask that can be decorated with paint, glitter, feathers, rhinestones, etc.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Byzantine Medallions

The wealthy Byzantine Empire had a huge influence on personal ornamentation. Characterized by extensive iconography, pendants and medallions were widely produced to denote faith, office or rank. For this project, students use air-dry clay and colorful rhinestones to create their own Byzantine-style medallions. Gilded with gold powder and finished with a gloss coating, they can be used as ornaments or placed outdoors as mini stepping stones.

K – 12

Acrylic “Skins”

This project utilizes acrylic paint, but in a totally unique way...dried! Acrylic paint "skins" are easily created just by brushing paint on a non-stick palette or baker's parchment and letting it dry. You can use this plastic, flexible paint in a number of ways to create mosaics, mixed media collage, stained glass-like effects, jewelry, book covers and more!

Watch the Video

K – 12

Fantastic Faux Fossils

Students create their own “fossil bed” by modeling three-dimensional shapes of animals, plants or insects, then “burying” them beneath layers of tissue paper. Add earth-tone pastels to make them look as if they just came from an excavation site.

Watch the Video

K – 12

Fauvism is for the Birds!

Les Fauves (translation: “The Wild Beasts”) were a group of artists whose work was characterized by seemingly wild brush work and strident colors. The colors the Fauves used are also favored by wild birds. Hummingbirds like red, orange and pink. Songbirds prefer colors that mimic trees and bushes. To see which species of birds are attracted to these “beastly” colors, students create a painted, hanging birdfeeder from a stretched canvas or “upcycled” wooden frame.

K – 12
Special Education

Upcycled Leather and “Turquoise” Cuffs

Worn as protection in battle, support for heavy labor and to identify status, leather cuffs have shielded wrists throughout mankind’s history. To the Pueblo and Navajo, turquoise is considered sacred and powerful, the perfect adornment. This project invites students to design a cuff from an old leather belt. Embellish with “turquoise” beads fashioned from polymer clay or with stamping, lacing and marker designs.

3 – 12

Watercolor Texture Casts

Molding, casting, sculpting, painting and monoprinting — this simple project pulls all of these together into one low-relief sculpture that demonstrates the elements of texture and color. Texture is defined in clay by pressing objects in or sculpting with tools. Next, the clay is painted with watercolor and covered with papier mâché, which lifts the color as it dries, absorbing it directly into the casting.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Color Scramble

In the 1960’s, Frank Stella became known for his minimal geometric paintings of concentric squares that used color to create visual movement. Each concentric square of color related to the next, whether they were harmonic or contrasting colors. In this lesson plan, students consider color relations and “paint” a Stella-style work with colored masking tape,

4 – 12

Master Palettes

Drawing on the reverse side of a matte sheet of acetate, students create “windows” into the work of a chosen artist, using similar colors, subject matter and style to describe the artist’s focus. See if the class can guess which artists are represented on each student’s “palette.”

K – 6

Pyramid Book

Unlock the secrets of an ancient Egyptian pyramid with this easy-to-construct box that opens to reveal “treasure” inside. When closed, the outside walls are held in place with a clay disk. Remove the disk and open the pyramid to reveal what's inside. Younger students can make artifacts from clay to place inside. Older students may be challenged to learn the inner parts of the pyramids and add paper pages to write about and illustrate their discoveries.

3 – 8

Stilt Houses

A stilt house is constructed on posts above water, allowing people to live in areas that have very little dry land. Found in many coastal and wetland regions of the world, stilt houses can be ultra modern or very basic. In this lesson, students build a stilt house while being mindful of the area where the house might exist and the lifestyle of its inhabitants.

3 – 7

Drapo Dazzle

Inspired by the sequinned banners of Haiti, students will make a banner of their own design using a variety of glittery, sparkly, shiny materials and brilliant colors. Use this opportunity to learn about the art and history of Haiti, a unique blend of African, French, Spanish and Native Caribbean cultures.

K – 8

Art 2 Infinity: Two projects incorporating Mirror Board

Artists through the ages have used reflective surfaces to define and alter perspective, create symmetry and "bend" reality. Mirrors have been a tool for creating art, the subject matter and the art itself. Here are two project ideas for using metallic film to capture light and create intriguing illusions: “Kaleidoscope Paintings” and “Infinity Boxes”.

K – 12

Painted Story Quilt

Quilt-making spans multiple centuries and cultures. It can teach math skills, record history, recycle cast-off materials and encourage cooperative efforts within a group...just for a few ideas! This lesson looks at the story quilts of Faith Ringgold. She surrounds her narrative paintings with a quilted border, creating stories in color, texture, and pattern. Students select their own story to illustrate, then paint fabric using watersoluble pastels and watercolor.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Earth Strata

The inside of the Earth holds hidden secrets very close to us, so dig a hole to uncover layers of mystery! A hole just 1" deep will show a very small example of soil strata or layers – including rocks, shells, fossils, geodes, water, oil and coal. This art project is based on geology but need not be scientifically accurate as students creatively incorporate texture and line.

1 – 6

Burlap Pastel Painting

This easily constructed project offers an exploration of texture, line and color – key elements of design. Younger children may take a more abstract approach with emphasis on texture and color. Older students will find the burlap easy to pull and the weave easy to manipulate, creating holes and lines. Subject matter such as buildings, landscapes and abstract designs are adaptable to varying grade levels.

K – 6

Storybook Theater

From the outside, this Storybook Theater looks like a simply constructed book, but open it and a puppet stage unfolds! Children make their favorite stories come to life with puppets, props and scenery. There's even built-in pockets for holding craft stick puppets.

K – 6

Color Twist Game

This game puts a new "twist" on an old favorite, and provides an enjoyable way for students to learn color-mixing.

K – 4

Architectural Letters

In this lesson plan, students design and construct a 3-dimensional letter using one of their initials. The surface can be decorated with descriptive words and images that are personally meaningful and unique to the student's identity. Instead of wet, messy adhesive, this process uses paper packing tape to create papier mâché. This tape is inexpensive, easy, and tidy to use, and the finished letters are hard and durable.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Art RX Journal

Exercise for art is as important as exercise for sports or rehearsal for theatre, as it fosters a continual pursuit of excellence. In this lesson, to exercise their artistic creativity, students keep a day-by-day art journal. Each page should be a simple statement of a different idea or small thought for the day.

K – 12
Special Education

Fiber Fusion

This project starts with a 12" x 12" piece of muslin upon which a variety of papers, fabrics, colors and textures are added. Paper Cloth can be sewn with a sewing machine, cut with scissors, folded and reused. It is hard to tear! The finished and dry material may be wrinkled, or placed between two sheets of paper and ironed to flatten. Color can be added using different mediums.

Watch the Video

K – 12

Recycled Plastic Collage

Rather than allowing more plastic to end up in a landfill, raise your students' level of social conscience and demonstrate the art elements of line, shape and texture with this lesson in "green" art. Twist and form recycled plastic into coils and shapes on a piece of adhesive-backed film and view in reverse. It's a tidy way to create a collage — no glue or paint required.

3 – 12

Reverse Pastel Painting

Where standard painting builds an image from the background forward, a reverse painting is created in a backward fashion — foreground first — with each phase applied so the background finishes the painting. A backing of metallic foil reflects light through the pastel in the same manner as gilding.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Rhythm in Layers

Low relief sculpture with design in mind. Layer by layer, piece by piece, this three-dimensional collage is assembled with repetitious shapes and elements, illustrating the principles of rhythm, balance and movement.

Watch the Video

3 – 12
Special Education

Insoluble Paintings

Based on the scientific concepts of insolubility and density, this technique seals water-based paint and mineral oil inside a laminating pouch. The different densities cause the liquids to repel one another in an ever-changing and interactive piece that continually flows and responds to touch.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Goofy Mask

Lots of texture, color and dimension. The cultural diversity in the United States provides for many, many masks which represent traditional images. This fun mask requires children to create a mask just for themselves.

K – 4

Egyptian-Inspired Jewelry

The purpose of this lesson plan is not to make replicas of Egyptian jewelry but to design jewelry that is dramatic using Egyptian jewelry as a reference.

K – 12

Woodsies “Extraordinaire”

This project is quick and inexpensive but big on creativity. In addition to the wood shapes, all that is needed is a little glue, paint, marker and enough imagination for embellishment. Add a pin back or magnet for function.

2 – 8
Special Education

Natural Twig Journals

This simple bookmaking project can achieve great results with a wide variety of ages. Using nature as a theme, it's a perfect place to record nature sketches, foliage collections and personal observations of the world around us.

K – 12
Special Education

Towers and Turrets

This lesson plan gives students the opportunity to learn about the concept of architecture, particularly towers and turrets.Using watercolor painting techniques and tracing, cutting, and gluing skills,students create lines, patterns and textures while understanding the concept of near being larger, far being smaller.

3 – 6

Transparent Banner Paintings

Painting on a transparent medium not only allows the interaction of light within the painted surface, it also projects colorful cast light and shadow onto walls, floors and surrounding objects.

3 – 12

Yarn Bottles

The Huichol tribe use yarn to decorate gourds, clothing and other items, appliing it in adjacent rows of varying colors and patterns. Bottles are a 3-D surface that offers endless design possibilities.

K – 6

Quick Button Art

Button art is an inexpensive, creative project that's easy to do with a group, and produces great results.

K – 12

Robot Shoes

This project gives new life to second-hand shoes by turning them into "Robots," sculptural assemblages created with metallic paint, wire and found objects.

K – 8

Labyrinths

Found in art and architecture around the world, labyrinths are associated with metaphor, mystery and mythology. Incorporating various materials, students create their own labyrinths that may also be used as a simple game.

K – 12

How Grandmother Spider Stole the Sun

Students will be introduced to a Native American story, "How Grandmother Spider Stol the Sun", told by Joseph Brucha. They will use this to create a work of art out of clay and other materials, rather than paint and paper.

K – 4

Fabric Paint Hanging

Although it is commonly used as a decorative medium for clothing, fabric paint is also used as a fine art medium

K – 6

Bling Bling Mosaics

The new metallic paints are beautiful. Mix with different types of paints and "Glitter It" mediums to make paper tiles.

K – 6

Art-Zee Dice Game

Decorate small wooden blocks with symbols, letters, numbers, patterns or images to create dice and a colorful "shaker" jar. Scorecard included in lesson plan.

K – 6

Book of Secrets

This book-making and collage project uses small matchboxes as drawers to tuck away secrets, supporting a variety of literary and historical studies, such as “The Hiding Place” (Anne Frank) or the Underground Railroad.

3 – 12

click to collapse

Grades 5 – 8

 

Grade Level

NEW! Confetti Bowls

If you've ever scooped confetti into the trash and wished it didn't have to be wasted, here's an idea for putting it to use — turn it into an intriguing, artistic bowl or plate.

3 – 8

NEW! Figures in Motion

Inspired by the painting and sculpture of Edgar Degas, this lesson allows students to explore proportion and describe movement using a flat, paper doll-type figure that can be manipulated when wet and is rigid when dry.

5 – 12

NEW! Blow up a Butterfly

Create an O'Keeffe-like butterfly wing in close detail using Plike (plastic-like) paper. Next, add pastels along with iridescent and pearlescent mixing mediums to capture the affect of a butterfly's wing in close-up.

K – 8

NEW! Circle Wall Sculpture

The circle has played a role in the art of every culture, often symbolizing unity and completeness. This simple reed-and-paper design demonstrates how balance, emphasis, patterns, rhythm, movement, and unity produce integrality in a piece of visual art.

Watch the Video

5 – 12

NEW! “Glass” Panel Book

A twist on the tunnel book, this in-depth poetry presentation stars repurposed transparent CD cases. Students learn how artists create visual depth in art while designing a book that illustrates an eight-line poem they have selected or written.

Watch the Video

8 – 12

NEW! Make a Fake Cake!

Using the paintings of Wayne Thiebaud as inspiration, students prepare visually delightful, deliciously decorated sculptural cupcakes using a new, voluminous finger paint that spreads like frosting, yet dries to a strong, durable finish.

Watch the Video

K – 8
Special Education

NEW! Curtain of Leaves Monoprint

Many artists have used trees as an inspiration for their work. Pressed leaves and texture tools are used to make one-of-a-kind, double-sided monoprints. Using a flexible printing block as a plate makes it easy!

Watch the Video

3 – 12

NEW! Shoe Shrine

Make a sculptural shrine from an outgrown or second-hand shoe! Primed with modeling paste, covered with ornate embellishments, and then aligned vertically, an everyday shoe can become a dramatic backdrop for relics that represent a student’s favorite thing, place, idea, or event.

3 – 12

NEW! Upcycled Saucer Basket

A variety of new “fibers” are being employed today by many basket makers. Use traditional basket-weaving methods combined with fibers of the new age such as newspapers, plastics, wire, or grocery bags!

Watch the Video

5 – 12

Creative Quill Pens

For over 1000 years, the quill was the principle writing tool in the Western world. Imagine the stories, poems and sketches that can be made with a hybrid quill and dip pen designed to be a work of art in itself!

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Byzantine Bell

Create a copper bell from metal foil and give it a salt-and-vinegar patina! Cut, fold and emboss metal sheet and add a beaded clapper. Watch a patina develop over night and display in or out!

Watch the Video

5 – 12

Distressed Cold Wax Drawing

NOTE! The liquid wax used in this lesson plan is now tinted green. Artwork produced using this process will vary from the examples shown. This drawing process uses a reduction technique that involves etching or scratching an image into the wax, filling it with acrylic, then selectively removing color and wax by wiping and further etching. The remaining wax on the page will create mid-range values of gray and green, depending on how much is removed.

5 – 12

Steampunk Entomology

Create a futuristic insect specimen using clay, discarded metal pieces, and wire. Make an air dry clay body, push wire legs, antennae and steampunk embellishments into the soft clay, add wings and let dry to harden! Embellish with paints, if desired.

Watch the Video

K – 12

Wayang Kulit Shadow Puppetry

Tell a story through a traditional Indonesian shadow puppet play! Make a puppet that looks like leather by dampening and crinkling black cardstock, then create interesting patterns with paper punches. Finish with metallic markers and glue to dowels!

K – 12

Anaglyph Artistry

Make a composition for viewing with 3-D glasses! Turn an original drawing into a three-dimensional anaglyph using red and blue transfer paper with red and blue markers. Then, make the 3-D glasses necessary to make it pop!

Watch the Video

2 – 12

Artist’s Challenge Coins (ACC’s)

Challenge Coins are specially designed and minted for service personnel to recognize an achievement, enhance morale, or to signify membership in (or experience on) a particular mission. Create a personal Artist's Challenge Coin (ACC) by making a small print, collage, stamp, or photo appliqué one side of a coin-shaped wooden disk, and a challenge or message on the reverse.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Butterfield Horse

Construct a high-relief horse using Activa Fast Mache and found objects. Combine a painted and collaged background with a horse made of quick mache, sticks, pine needles, leaves, and shredded papers in the style of Debra Butterfield.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Lessons on Lascaux

Create a cave wall that crackles with authenticity! Using a paste made with powdered tempera and a Dura-Lar stencil, make a beautiful 3-D cave creation.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Make-a-Mock-Moc!

Create a traditional Chippewa or Pucker-top moccasin using canvas, suede or leather remnants, seed beads and paint.

Watch the Video

5 – 12

Books that POP!

Paper engineering meets the principles of design! This procces breaks pop-up designs into three very basic techniques - spirals, zig-zags, and boxes - and focuses on design elements: color, form, shape, and space. A simple hinging technique using the ever-popular, colorfully patterned DuckTape allows the book to open and lie flat for the most eye-popping and paper-popping look!

3 – 12

The Secret Life of your Pet!

Disquise your pet or favorite animal in a fantasy environment with easy photo manipulation.

K – 12

All Aglow Chinese Lantern

An origami "Chinese Lantern" that glows in the dark! Using Dura-Lar film, markers, and glow-in-the dark paint, create a hanging lantern, and learn a basic origami shape.

3 – 12

Easy-Outline Botanical Illustration Prints

Although photography and modern printing processes have replaced the need for cataloguing plant life with detailed drawn and painted illustrations, botanical illustration is still a beloved art. To make an accurate rendering of a plant, students can create an impression in plaster, then trace the shape and details with colored pencil, ink, or watercolor. Mixing and shading for color accuracy and identifying the plant are some of the skills that will be learned in this exercise.

Watch the Video

K – 12

“Gawu” — African Inspired Tapestry

Ghana-born artist El Anatsui is known internationally for his large-scale sculptures called “Gawu,” a composite of the words “ga,” meaning something made of metal and 'wu,” meaning a fashioned garment. In this lesson, students create their own tapestries as a response to El Anatsui's art, using African kente to discover rhythm and pattern in art. Recycled materials can be used, including folded papers and labels.

K – 12
Special Education

Glue Paint Symmetry Prints

Finger Painting has never been so fun — or so very tidy! This project incorporates glue paint — basic white glue tinted with any shade of watercolor. It dries with a beautiful transparency that is enhanced when applied to a clear sheet. When the sheet is folded, the colors can be blended and moved about the page, without actually touching it!

K – 12
Special Education

Monet's Water Lilies

In the last 30 years of his life, French Impressionist Claude Monet produced a series of paintings depicting the flowers and pond in his garden at Giverny. He especially loved painting his water lilies and the reflections of the sky and trees floating in the water around them. In honor of Monet, here's an easy, elegant and inexpensive way to make a tissue paper lily that has the misty, atmospheric qualities an Impressionist would have loved.

K – 8

Sound Sculpture Inspired by Jean Tinguely

Swiss artist Jean Tinguely created whimsical machine-like contraptions of found metal parts, known as “metamechanics”. In this lesson plan, students create a kinetic sculpture with repurposed metal hardware, found objects, and wire placed so that they deliberately move against one another. Much like Tinguely’s machines, some of the noises may be pleasant — others may not— but each will have a very unique metallic, mechanical “voice.”

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Art-O-Motion 2

Sculptor George Rickey used scientific precision and physics, functioning with wind to construct heavy steel sculptures that seemed to defy gravity and float on air. In this lesson, students create a simple sculpture around a rotary hub with stacked wooden beads and soft wire. When a direct air current is applied to metallic paper “sails” (blow on it!), the sculpture blades turn gently.

Watch the Video

5 – 12

Many Metals “Day of the Dead” Triptych

Celebrate a happy and colorful Mexican tradition with many metals! Using the skull as a symbol of rebirth, create a triptych with embossed metal, papier mâché, and lots of color and sparkle!

Watch the Video

5 – 12

New Guinean “Plant Paste” Doll

Make a hand-built ritual doll with only three simple materials! Knead together clay, instant papier mâché and burlap fibers to create an intriguing art doll. Add body paint and embellish by adding seed bead teeth, a shell necklace, or clothing made of burlap.

4 – 12

Recycled Jellies

Learn the anatomy of one of nature’s most fascinating creatures and make a model from some of the very materials that threaten their habitat — plastic bags and fast food containers. These colorful, sparkling jellies are even water-resistant!

Watch the Video

K – 5

Doodle Dancer

Mehndi, tatau, and modern "ink" - the history of art is incomplete without including the practice of creating decoration on human skin. In this lesson plan, students create a jointed clay marionette and use fine-line markers to cover it with expressive designs.

3 – 12

Miniature Treasure Keeper

Joseph Cornell's (1903-1972) most characteristic art works were boxed assemblages created from found objects. These were simple boxes in which he arranged surprising collections of photgraphs or bric-a-brac in a way that combines the formality of Constructivism with the lively fantasy of Surrealism. Students will gather pieces of nostalgia or found objects to embed in plaster within an arrangement of mini canvas "boxes".

K – 12

Paper Memory Quilt

The stitching together of layers of padding and fabric may date as far back as ancient Egypt. In America, quilt-making was common beginning in the late 18th century. A paper memory quilt is a fun way to keep ephemera (paper items) that have significance. This project will teach important design skills as pieces of paper are cut apart and reassembled. Insight into pattern, rhythm and repetition is gained.

2 – 12

Venetian Volto Mask

The Italian word “volto” translates as “face”. These full-face masks were known as “citizen’s masks” because they were originally worn by common people during the Carnival of Venice. By draping acrylic felt over a reusable form and using Rice Paste (a gluten-free maché alternative) to stiffen, students create a sculptural mask that can be decorated with paint, glitter, feathers, rhinestones, etc.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Byzantine Medallions

The wealthy Byzantine Empire had a huge influence on personal ornamentation. Characterized by extensive iconography, pendants and medallions were widely produced to denote faith, office or rank. For this project, students use air-dry clay and colorful rhinestones to create their own Byzantine-style medallions. Gilded with gold powder and finished with a gloss coating, they can be used as ornaments or placed outdoors as mini stepping stones.

K – 12

Acrylic “Skins”

This project utilizes acrylic paint, but in a totally unique way...dried! Acrylic paint "skins" are easily created just by brushing paint on a non-stick palette or baker's parchment and letting it dry. You can use this plastic, flexible paint in a number of ways to create mosaics, mixed media collage, stained glass-like effects, jewelry, book covers and more!

Watch the Video

K – 12

Embossed Metal Encaustics

Considered a lost art for many centuries, encaustic painting is enjoying a resurgence because of modern techniques, tools and materials. While encaustic painting requires moving molten wax from a heating element to a surface, the technique used in this lesson plan creates textured “reservoirs” in metal foil that channel and cradle sprinkled wax chips as they melt. Interesting dimensions and contrasts between the metal and translucent wax occur when cooled.

Watch the Video

5 – 12

“Art-O-Motion” Mechanical Sculpture

In 1913, Marcel DuChamp mounted a spinning bicycle wheel to a stool to make what is considered the first kinetic sculpture. Since then, many artists have paired physical science and engineering with artistic vision to create amazing pieces of mechanical sculpture. This simple, pulley-operated design has students design “gears” that spin on spools when a string is pulled.

Watch the Video

5 – 12

Fantastic Faux Fossils

Students create their own “fossil bed” by modeling three-dimensional shapes of animals, plants or insects, then “burying” them beneath layers of tissue paper. Add earth-tone pastels to make them look as if they just came from an excavation site.

Watch the Video

K – 12

Fauvism is for the Birds!

Les Fauves (translation: “The Wild Beasts”) were a group of artists whose work was characterized by seemingly wild brush work and strident colors. The colors the Fauves used are also favored by wild birds. Hummingbirds like red, orange and pink. Songbirds prefer colors that mimic trees and bushes. To see which species of birds are attracted to these “beastly” colors, students create a painted, hanging birdfeeder from a stretched canvas or “upcycled” wooden frame.

K – 12
Special Education

Upcycled Leather and “Turquoise” Cuffs

Worn as protection in battle, support for heavy labor and to identify status, leather cuffs have shielded wrists throughout mankind’s history. To the Pueblo and Navajo, turquoise is considered sacred and powerful, the perfect adornment. This project invites students to design a cuff from an old leather belt. Embellish with “turquoise” beads fashioned from polymer clay or with stamping, lacing and marker designs.

3 – 12

Watercolor Texture Casts

Molding, casting, sculpting, painting and monoprinting — this simple project pulls all of these together into one low-relief sculpture that demonstrates the elements of texture and color. Texture is defined in clay by pressing objects in or sculpting with tools. Next, the clay is painted with watercolor and covered with papier mâché, which lifts the color as it dries, absorbing it directly into the casting.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Color Scramble

In the 1960’s, Frank Stella became known for his minimal geometric paintings of concentric squares that used color to create visual movement. Each concentric square of color related to the next, whether they were harmonic or contrasting colors. In this lesson plan, students consider color relations and “paint” a Stella-style work with colored masking tape,

4 – 12

Master Palettes

Drawing on the reverse side of a matte sheet of acetate, students create “windows” into the work of a chosen artist, using similar colors, subject matter and style to describe the artist’s focus. See if the class can guess which artists are represented on each student’s “palette.”

K – 6

Pyramid Book

Unlock the secrets of an ancient Egyptian pyramid with this easy-to-construct box that opens to reveal “treasure” inside. When closed, the outside walls are held in place with a clay disk. Remove the disk and open the pyramid to reveal what's inside. Younger students can make artifacts from clay to place inside. Older students may be challenged to learn the inner parts of the pyramids and add paper pages to write about and illustrate their discoveries.

3 – 8

Stilt Houses

A stilt house is constructed on posts above water, allowing people to live in areas that have very little dry land. Found in many coastal and wetland regions of the world, stilt houses can be ultra modern or very basic. In this lesson, students build a stilt house while being mindful of the area where the house might exist and the lifestyle of its inhabitants.

3 – 7

Drapo Dazzle

Inspired by the sequinned banners of Haiti, students will make a banner of their own design using a variety of glittery, sparkly, shiny materials and brilliant colors. Use this opportunity to learn about the art and history of Haiti, a unique blend of African, French, Spanish and Native Caribbean cultures.

K – 8

Fiber Fusion Vessels

This project should be considered “Part Two” of our Fiber Fusion lesson plan. This project helps students stretch their imaginations and further develop a |two-dimensional artwork they’ve created by turning it into a three-dimensional sculptural piece.

7 – 12

Art 2 Infinity: Two projects incorporating Mirror Board

Artists through the ages have used reflective surfaces to define and alter perspective, create symmetry and "bend" reality. Mirrors have been a tool for creating art, the subject matter and the art itself. Here are two project ideas for using metallic film to capture light and create intriguing illusions: “Kaleidoscope Paintings” and “Infinity Boxes”.

K – 12

Canvas Dinnerware

A whimsical makeover for discarded dishes! Inexpensive, diverse and unmatched pieces from thrift stores, garage sales, etc. are recycled into contemporary sculptures in this project. Pieces of unprimed canvas are layered and glued to the surface, then painted with Blick Matte Acrylic color. Center the design around a theme, as Judy Chicago did in the 1970’s with “The Dinner Party” or design a place setting for a particular artist.

Watch the Video

5 – 12

Painted Story Quilt

Quilt-making spans multiple centuries and cultures. It can teach math skills, record history, recycle cast-off materials and encourage cooperative efforts within a group...just for a few ideas! This lesson looks at the story quilts of Faith Ringgold. She surrounds her narrative paintings with a quilted border, creating stories in color, texture, and pattern. Students select their own story to illustrate, then paint fabric using watersoluble pastels and watercolor.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Paper Coil Baskets

This project transforms traditional basketry into a contemporary fine craft. Paper Coiling Core is shaped and glued in layers in the same manner as a clay coil pot is constructed. Vibrant and fluid Blick Liquid Watercolors can replicate patterns from the Papago, Navajo, and Apache cultures of Native America and Northern Mexico, or painted in contemporary, abstract, or representational styles.

Watch the Video

5 – 8
10 – 12

Earth Strata

The inside of the Earth holds hidden secrets very close to us, so dig a hole to uncover layers of mystery! A hole just 1" deep will show a very small example of soil strata or layers – including rocks, shells, fossils, geodes, water, oil and coal. This art project is based on geology but need not be scientifically accurate as students creatively incorporate texture and line.

1 – 6

Burlap Pastel Painting

This easily constructed project offers an exploration of texture, line and color – key elements of design. Younger children may take a more abstract approach with emphasis on texture and color. Older students will find the burlap easy to pull and the weave easy to manipulate, creating holes and lines. Subject matter such as buildings, landscapes and abstract designs are adaptable to varying grade levels.

K – 6

Storybook Theater

From the outside, this Storybook Theater looks like a simply constructed book, but open it and a puppet stage unfolds! Children make their favorite stories come to life with puppets, props and scenery. There's even built-in pockets for holding craft stick puppets.

K – 6

Architectural Letters

In this lesson plan, students design and construct a 3-dimensional letter using one of their initials. The surface can be decorated with descriptive words and images that are personally meaningful and unique to the student's identity. Instead of wet, messy adhesive, this process uses paper packing tape to create papier mâché. This tape is inexpensive, easy, and tidy to use, and the finished letters are hard and durable.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Art RX Journal

Exercise for art is as important as exercise for sports or rehearsal for theatre, as it fosters a continual pursuit of excellence. In this lesson, to exercise their artistic creativity, students keep a day-by-day art journal. Each page should be a simple statement of a different idea or small thought for the day.

K – 12
Special Education

Fiber Fusion

This project starts with a 12" x 12" piece of muslin upon which a variety of papers, fabrics, colors and textures are added. Paper Cloth can be sewn with a sewing machine, cut with scissors, folded and reused. It is hard to tear! The finished and dry material may be wrinkled, or placed between two sheets of paper and ironed to flatten. Color can be added using different mediums.

Watch the Video

K – 12

Recycled Plastic Collage

Rather than allowing more plastic to end up in a landfill, raise your students' level of social conscience and demonstrate the art elements of line, shape and texture with this lesson in "green" art. Twist and form recycled plastic into coils and shapes on a piece of adhesive-backed film and view in reverse. It's a tidy way to create a collage — no glue or paint required.

3 – 12

Reverse Pastel Painting

Where standard painting builds an image from the background forward, a reverse painting is created in a backward fashion — foreground first — with each phase applied so the background finishes the painting. A backing of metallic foil reflects light through the pastel in the same manner as gilding.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Rhythm in Layers

Low relief sculpture with design in mind. Layer by layer, piece by piece, this three-dimensional collage is assembled with repetitious shapes and elements, illustrating the principles of rhythm, balance and movement.

Watch the Video

3 – 12
Special Education

Insoluble Paintings

Based on the scientific concepts of insolubility and density, this technique seals water-based paint and mineral oil inside a laminating pouch. The different densities cause the liquids to repel one another in an ever-changing and interactive piece that continually flows and responds to touch.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Egyptian-Inspired Jewelry

The purpose of this lesson plan is not to make replicas of Egyptian jewelry but to design jewelry that is dramatic using Egyptian jewelry as a reference.

K – 12

Junkanoo Headress

Junkanoo is a festival that takes place in the Bahamas. It is a tradition that traces its roots back to the 16th century. Music, dancing and elaborate costumes are all part of Junkanoo. This lesson introduces students to a fun and whimsical cultural event by allowing them to design their own headress - an important part of the festivities!

6 – 12

Woodsies “Extraordinaire”

This project is quick and inexpensive but big on creativity. In addition to the wood shapes, all that is needed is a little glue, paint, marker and enough imagination for embellishment. Add a pin back or magnet for function.

2 – 8
Special Education

Environmental House

One of the principles of the Modern style of architecture is that the materials and functional requirements determine the design of the structure. Keeping that in mind, students will build a model of a home to function within a chosen environment.

7 – 12

Natural Twig Journals

This simple bookmaking project can achieve great results with a wide variety of ages. Using nature as a theme, it's a perfect place to record nature sketches, foliage collections and personal observations of the world around us.

K – 12
Special Education

Towers and Turrets

This lesson plan gives students the opportunity to learn about the concept of architecture, particularly towers and turrets.Using watercolor painting techniques and tracing, cutting, and gluing skills,students create lines, patterns and textures while understanding the concept of near being larger, far being smaller.

3 – 6

Transparent Banner Paintings

Painting on a transparent medium not only allows the interaction of light within the painted surface, it also projects colorful cast light and shadow onto walls, floors and surrounding objects.

3 – 12

Yarn Bottles

The Huichol tribe use yarn to decorate gourds, clothing and other items, appliing it in adjacent rows of varying colors and patterns. Bottles are a 3-D surface that offers endless design possibilities.

K – 6

Quick Button Art

Button art is an inexpensive, creative project that's easy to do with a group, and produces great results.

K – 12

Recycled Pots

These plastic bottle pots are very handsome and perfectly shaped for decorating. Looking at them it is impossible to tell they are not made of clay.

5 – 8

Robot Shoes

This project gives new life to second-hand shoes by turning them into "Robots," sculptural assemblages created with metallic paint, wire and found objects.

K – 8

Character Nichos

Students learn to make small, decorated boxes called "Nichos," a means in Mexican and South American cultures to provide a stage-like setting for an object or collection of objects that have great significance.

5 – 8

Labyrinths

Found in art and architecture around the world, labyrinths are associated with metaphor, mystery and mythology. Incorporating various materials, students create their own labyrinths that may also be used as a simple game.

K – 12

Golden Door Book

Using The Golden Door as a theme to search for historical and aesthetic content, students create a paper collage containing relevant images, text and expressions.

5 – 12

Fabric Paint Hanging

Although it is commonly used as a decorative medium for clothing, fabric paint is also used as a fine art medium

K – 6

Bling Bling Mosaics

The new metallic paints are beautiful. Mix with different types of paints and "Glitter It" mediums to make paper tiles.

K – 6

Canvas Screen

Students use all the elements and principles of design.

8 – 12

African Ceremonial Mask

Studying the rich history of maskmaking in Africa is a perfect way for students to experience the relationship between the process of creating a piece of art, and appreciating the significance it carries

5 – 12

African Embossed Leather Box

Creates African-inspired art by covering paper-maché boxes with Leather Bookcloth. Emboss with patterns and textures and add colorful beads by gluing or stitching.

5 – 12

Altered Images

Hand-altering photos is a practice nearly as old as photography itself. Here are some new ideas for embellishing digital prints, featuring Blick Studio Art Markers and Scratch-Art Tools.

5 – 12

Art-Zee Dice Game

Decorate small wooden blocks with symbols, letters, numbers, patterns or images to create dice and a colorful "shaker" jar. Scorecard included in lesson plan.

K – 6

Book of Secrets

This book-making and collage project uses small matchboxes as drawers to tuck away secrets, supporting a variety of literary and historical studies, such as “The Hiding Place” (Anne Frank) or the Underground Railroad.

3 – 12

click to collapse

Grades 9 – 12

 

Grade Level

NEW! Figures in Motion

Inspired by the painting and sculpture of Edgar Degas, this lesson allows students to explore proportion and describe movement using a flat, paper doll-type figure that can be manipulated when wet and is rigid when dry.

5 – 12

NEW! Circle Wall Sculpture

The circle has played a role in the art of every culture, often symbolizing unity and completeness. This simple reed-and-paper design demonstrates how balance, emphasis, patterns, rhythm, movement, and unity produce integrality in a piece of visual art.

Watch the Video

5 – 12

NEW! “Glass” Panel Book

A twist on the tunnel book, this in-depth poetry presentation stars repurposed transparent CD cases. Students learn how artists create visual depth in art while designing a book that illustrates an eight-line poem they have selected or written.

Watch the Video

8 – 12

NEW! Curtain of Leaves Monoprint

Many artists have used trees as an inspiration for their work. Pressed leaves and texture tools are used to make one-of-a-kind, double-sided monoprints. Using a flexible printing block as a plate makes it easy!

Watch the Video

3 – 12

NEW! Shoe Shrine

Make a sculptural shrine from an outgrown or second-hand shoe! Primed with modeling paste, covered with ornate embellishments, and then aligned vertically, an everyday shoe can become a dramatic backdrop for relics that represent a student’s favorite thing, place, idea, or event.

3 – 12

NEW! Upcycled Saucer Basket

A variety of new “fibers” are being employed today by many basket makers. Use traditional basket-weaving methods combined with fibers of the new age such as newspapers, plastics, wire, or grocery bags!

Watch the Video

5 – 12

Creative Quill Pens

For over 1000 years, the quill was the principle writing tool in the Western world. Imagine the stories, poems and sketches that can be made with a hybrid quill and dip pen designed to be a work of art in itself!

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Byzantine Bell

Create a copper bell from metal foil and give it a salt-and-vinegar patina! Cut, fold and emboss metal sheet and add a beaded clapper. Watch a patina develop over night and display in or out!

Watch the Video

5 – 12

Distressed Cold Wax Drawing

NOTE! The liquid wax used in this lesson plan is now tinted green. Artwork produced using this process will vary from the examples shown. This drawing process uses a reduction technique that involves etching or scratching an image into the wax, filling it with acrylic, then selectively removing color and wax by wiping and further etching. The remaining wax on the page will create mid-range values of gray and green, depending on how much is removed.

5 – 12

Steampunk Entomology

Create a futuristic insect specimen using clay, discarded metal pieces, and wire. Make an air dry clay body, push wire legs, antennae and steampunk embellishments into the soft clay, add wings and let dry to harden! Embellish with paints, if desired.

Watch the Video

K – 12

Wayang Kulit Shadow Puppetry

Tell a story through a traditional Indonesian shadow puppet play! Make a puppet that looks like leather by dampening and crinkling black cardstock, then create interesting patterns with paper punches. Finish with metallic markers and glue to dowels!

K – 12

Anaglyph Artistry

Make a composition for viewing with 3-D glasses! Turn an original drawing into a three-dimensional anaglyph using red and blue transfer paper with red and blue markers. Then, make the 3-D glasses necessary to make it pop!

Watch the Video

2 – 12

Artist’s Challenge Coins (ACC’s)

Challenge Coins are specially designed and minted for service personnel to recognize an achievement, enhance morale, or to signify membership in (or experience on) a particular mission. Create a personal Artist's Challenge Coin (ACC) by making a small print, collage, stamp, or photo appliqué one side of a coin-shaped wooden disk, and a challenge or message on the reverse.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Butterfield Horse

Construct a high-relief horse using Activa Fast Mache and found objects. Combine a painted and collaged background with a horse made of quick mache, sticks, pine needles, leaves, and shredded papers in the style of Debra Butterfield.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Lessons on Lascaux

Create a cave wall that crackles with authenticity! Using a paste made with powdered tempera and a Dura-Lar stencil, make a beautiful 3-D cave creation.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Make-a-Mock-Moc!

Create a traditional Chippewa or Pucker-top moccasin using canvas, suede or leather remnants, seed beads and paint.

Watch the Video

5 – 12

Books that POP!

Paper engineering meets the principles of design! This procces breaks pop-up designs into three very basic techniques - spirals, zig-zags, and boxes - and focuses on design elements: color, form, shape, and space. A simple hinging technique using the ever-popular, colorfully patterned DuckTape allows the book to open and lie flat for the most eye-popping and paper-popping look!

3 – 12

The Secret Life of your Pet!

Disquise your pet or favorite animal in a fantasy environment with easy photo manipulation.

K – 12

All Aglow Chinese Lantern

An origami "Chinese Lantern" that glows in the dark! Using Dura-Lar film, markers, and glow-in-the dark paint, create a hanging lantern, and learn a basic origami shape.

3 – 12

Easy-Outline Botanical Illustration Prints

Although photography and modern printing processes have replaced the need for cataloguing plant life with detailed drawn and painted illustrations, botanical illustration is still a beloved art. To make an accurate rendering of a plant, students can create an impression in plaster, then trace the shape and details with colored pencil, ink, or watercolor. Mixing and shading for color accuracy and identifying the plant are some of the skills that will be learned in this exercise.

Watch the Video

K – 12

“Gawu” — African Inspired Tapestry

Ghana-born artist El Anatsui is known internationally for his large-scale sculptures called “Gawu,” a composite of the words “ga,” meaning something made of metal and 'wu,” meaning a fashioned garment. In this lesson, students create their own tapestries as a response to El Anatsui's art, using African kente to discover rhythm and pattern in art. Recycled materials can be used, including folded papers and labels.

K – 12
Special Education

Glue Paint Symmetry Prints

Finger Painting has never been so fun — or so very tidy! This project incorporates glue paint — basic white glue tinted with any shade of watercolor. It dries with a beautiful transparency that is enhanced when applied to a clear sheet. When the sheet is folded, the colors can be blended and moved about the page, without actually touching it!

K – 12
Special Education

Sound Sculpture Inspired by Jean Tinguely

Swiss artist Jean Tinguely created whimsical machine-like contraptions of found metal parts, known as “metamechanics”. In this lesson plan, students create a kinetic sculpture with repurposed metal hardware, found objects, and wire placed so that they deliberately move against one another. Much like Tinguely’s machines, some of the noises may be pleasant — others may not— but each will have a very unique metallic, mechanical “voice.”

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Art-O-Motion 2

Sculptor George Rickey used scientific precision and physics, functioning with wind to construct heavy steel sculptures that seemed to defy gravity and float on air. In this lesson, students create a simple sculpture around a rotary hub with stacked wooden beads and soft wire. When a direct air current is applied to metallic paper “sails” (blow on it!), the sculpture blades turn gently.

Watch the Video

5 – 12

Many Metals “Day of the Dead” Triptych

Celebrate a happy and colorful Mexican tradition with many metals! Using the skull as a symbol of rebirth, create a triptych with embossed metal, papier mâché, and lots of color and sparkle!

Watch the Video

5 – 12

New Guinean “Plant Paste” Doll

Make a hand-built ritual doll with only three simple materials! Knead together clay, instant papier mâché and burlap fibers to create an intriguing art doll. Add body paint and embellish by adding seed bead teeth, a shell necklace, or clothing made of burlap.

4 – 12

Doodle Dancer

Mehndi, tatau, and modern "ink" - the history of art is incomplete without including the practice of creating decoration on human skin. In this lesson plan, students create a jointed clay marionette and use fine-line markers to cover it with expressive designs.

3 – 12

Miniature Treasure Keeper

Joseph Cornell's (1903-1972) most characteristic art works were boxed assemblages created from found objects. These were simple boxes in which he arranged surprising collections of photgraphs or bric-a-brac in a way that combines the formality of Constructivism with the lively fantasy of Surrealism. Students will gather pieces of nostalgia or found objects to embed in plaster within an arrangement of mini canvas "boxes".

K – 12

Paper Memory Quilt

The stitching together of layers of padding and fabric may date as far back as ancient Egypt. In America, quilt-making was common beginning in the late 18th century. A paper memory quilt is a fun way to keep ephemera (paper items) that have significance. This project will teach important design skills as pieces of paper are cut apart and reassembled. Insight into pattern, rhythm and repetition is gained.

2 – 12

Venetian Volto Mask

The Italian word “volto” translates as “face”. These full-face masks were known as “citizen’s masks” because they were originally worn by common people during the Carnival of Venice. By draping acrylic felt over a reusable form and using Rice Paste (a gluten-free maché alternative) to stiffen, students create a sculptural mask that can be decorated with paint, glitter, feathers, rhinestones, etc.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Byzantine Medallions

The wealthy Byzantine Empire had a huge influence on personal ornamentation. Characterized by extensive iconography, pendants and medallions were widely produced to denote faith, office or rank. For this project, students use air-dry clay and colorful rhinestones to create their own Byzantine-style medallions. Gilded with gold powder and finished with a gloss coating, they can be used as ornaments or placed outdoors as mini stepping stones.

K – 12

Acrylic “Skins”

This project utilizes acrylic paint, but in a totally unique way...dried! Acrylic paint "skins" are easily created just by brushing paint on a non-stick palette or baker's parchment and letting it dry. You can use this plastic, flexible paint in a number of ways to create mosaics, mixed media collage, stained glass-like effects, jewelry, book covers and more!

Watch the Video

K – 12

Embossed Metal Encaustics

Considered a lost art for many centuries, encaustic painting is enjoying a resurgence because of modern techniques, tools and materials. While encaustic painting requires moving molten wax from a heating element to a surface, the technique used in this lesson plan creates textured “reservoirs” in metal foil that channel and cradle sprinkled wax chips as they melt. Interesting dimensions and contrasts between the metal and translucent wax occur when cooled.

Watch the Video

5 – 12

“Art-O-Motion” Mechanical Sculpture

In 1913, Marcel DuChamp mounted a spinning bicycle wheel to a stool to make what is considered the first kinetic sculpture. Since then, many artists have paired physical science and engineering with artistic vision to create amazing pieces of mechanical sculpture. This simple, pulley-operated design has students design “gears” that spin on spools when a string is pulled.

Watch the Video

5 – 12

Fantastic Faux Fossils

Students create their own “fossil bed” by modeling three-dimensional shapes of animals, plants or insects, then “burying” them beneath layers of tissue paper. Add earth-tone pastels to make them look as if they just came from an excavation site.

Watch the Video

K – 12

Fauvism is for the Birds!

Les Fauves (translation: “The Wild Beasts”) were a group of artists whose work was characterized by seemingly wild brush work and strident colors. The colors the Fauves used are also favored by wild birds. Hummingbirds like red, orange and pink. Songbirds prefer colors that mimic trees and bushes. To see which species of birds are attracted to these “beastly” colors, students create a painted, hanging birdfeeder from a stretched canvas or “upcycled” wooden frame.

K – 12
Special Education

Upcycled Leather and “Turquoise” Cuffs

Worn as protection in battle, support for heavy labor and to identify status, leather cuffs have shielded wrists throughout mankind’s history. To the Pueblo and Navajo, turquoise is considered sacred and powerful, the perfect adornment. This project invites students to design a cuff from an old leather belt. Embellish with “turquoise” beads fashioned from polymer clay or with stamping, lacing and marker designs.

3 – 12

Watercolor Texture Casts

Molding, casting, sculpting, painting and monoprinting — this simple project pulls all of these together into one low-relief sculpture that demonstrates the elements of texture and color. Texture is defined in clay by pressing objects in or sculpting with tools. Next, the clay is painted with watercolor and covered with papier mâché, which lifts the color as it dries, absorbing it directly into the casting.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Color Scramble

In the 1960’s, Frank Stella became known for his minimal geometric paintings of concentric squares that used color to create visual movement. Each concentric square of color related to the next, whether they were harmonic or contrasting colors. In this lesson plan, students consider color relations and “paint” a Stella-style work with colored masking tape,

4 – 12

Fiber Fusion Vessels

This project should be considered “Part Two” of our Fiber Fusion lesson plan. This project helps students stretch their imaginations and further develop a |two-dimensional artwork they’ve created by turning it into a three-dimensional sculptural piece.

7 – 12

Art 2 Infinity: Two projects incorporating Mirror Board

Artists through the ages have used reflective surfaces to define and alter perspective, create symmetry and "bend" reality. Mirrors have been a tool for creating art, the subject matter and the art itself. Here are two project ideas for using metallic film to capture light and create intriguing illusions: “Kaleidoscope Paintings” and “Infinity Boxes”.

K – 12

Canvas Dinnerware

A whimsical makeover for discarded dishes! Inexpensive, diverse and unmatched pieces from thrift stores, garage sales, etc. are recycled into contemporary sculptures in this project. Pieces of unprimed canvas are layered and glued to the surface, then painted with Blick Matte Acrylic color. Center the design around a theme, as Judy Chicago did in the 1970’s with “The Dinner Party” or design a place setting for a particular artist.

Watch the Video

5 – 12

Painted Story Quilt

Quilt-making spans multiple centuries and cultures. It can teach math skills, record history, recycle cast-off materials and encourage cooperative efforts within a group...just for a few ideas! This lesson looks at the story quilts of Faith Ringgold. She surrounds her narrative paintings with a quilted border, creating stories in color, texture, and pattern. Students select their own story to illustrate, then paint fabric using watersoluble pastels and watercolor.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Paper Coil Baskets

This project transforms traditional basketry into a contemporary fine craft. Paper Coiling Core is shaped and glued in layers in the same manner as a clay coil pot is constructed. Vibrant and fluid Blick Liquid Watercolors can replicate patterns from the Papago, Navajo, and Apache cultures of Native America and Northern Mexico, or painted in contemporary, abstract, or representational styles.

Watch the Video

5 – 8
10 – 12

Architectural Letters

In this lesson plan, students design and construct a 3-dimensional letter using one of their initials. The surface can be decorated with descriptive words and images that are personally meaningful and unique to the student's identity. Instead of wet, messy adhesive, this process uses paper packing tape to create papier mâché. This tape is inexpensive, easy, and tidy to use, and the finished letters are hard and durable.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Art RX Journal

Exercise for art is as important as exercise for sports or rehearsal for theatre, as it fosters a continual pursuit of excellence. In this lesson, to exercise their artistic creativity, students keep a day-by-day art journal. Each page should be a simple statement of a different idea or small thought for the day.

K – 12
Special Education

Fiber Fusion

This project starts with a 12" x 12" piece of muslin upon which a variety of papers, fabrics, colors and textures are added. Paper Cloth can be sewn with a sewing machine, cut with scissors, folded and reused. It is hard to tear! The finished and dry material may be wrinkled, or placed between two sheets of paper and ironed to flatten. Color can be added using different mediums.

Watch the Video

K – 12

Recycled Plastic Collage

Rather than allowing more plastic to end up in a landfill, raise your students' level of social conscience and demonstrate the art elements of line, shape and texture with this lesson in "green" art. Twist and form recycled plastic into coils and shapes on a piece of adhesive-backed film and view in reverse. It's a tidy way to create a collage — no glue or paint required.

3 – 12

Reverse Pastel Painting

Where standard painting builds an image from the background forward, a reverse painting is created in a backward fashion — foreground first — with each phase applied so the background finishes the painting. A backing of metallic foil reflects light through the pastel in the same manner as gilding.

Watch the Video

3 – 12

Rhythm in Layers

Low relief sculpture with design in mind. Layer by layer, piece by piece, this three-dimensional collage is assembled with repetitious shapes and elements, illustrating the principles of rhythm, balance and movement.

Watch the Video

3 – 12
Special Education

Insoluble Paintings

Based on the scientific concepts of insolubility and density, this technique seals water-based paint and mineral oil inside a laminating pouch. The different densities cause the liquids to repel one another in an ever-changing and interactive piece that continually flows and responds to touch.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Egyptian-Inspired Jewelry

The purpose of this lesson plan is not to make replicas of Egyptian jewelry but to design jewelry that is dramatic using Egyptian jewelry as a reference.

K – 12

Junkanoo Headress

Junkanoo is a festival that takes place in the Bahamas. It is a tradition that traces its roots back to the 16th century. Music, dancing and elaborate costumes are all part of Junkanoo. This lesson introduces students to a fun and whimsical cultural event by allowing them to design their own headress - an important part of the festivities!

6 – 12

Wire Weave

Students construct a metal wire and mesh woven relief sculpture. A unique approach to weaving, students overlap wire mesh, practice sewing techniques without a needle and create a mixed media collage.

9 – 12

Environmental House

One of the principles of the Modern style of architecture is that the materials and functional requirements determine the design of the structure. Keeping that in mind, students will build a model of a home to function within a chosen environment.

7 – 12

Natural Twig Journals

This simple bookmaking project can achieve great results with a wide variety of ages. Using nature as a theme, it's a perfect place to record nature sketches, foliage collections and personal observations of the world around us.

K – 12
Special Education

Soft Sculpture

Claes Oldenburg popularized soft sculpture in the 1960's with flaccid everyday objects such as a fan, light switch and drum set.This lesson plan is an introduction to textile painting and fabric assemblage, as well as sculpture.

9 – 12

Transparent Banner Paintings

Painting on a transparent medium not only allows the interaction of light within the painted surface, it also projects colorful cast light and shadow onto walls, floors and surrounding objects.

3 – 12

Year “2100” Sock Dolls

Students investigate dolls and games in history and cultures. All cultures have dolls and are a fascinating reflection of climate, resources, ideas and technology. This particular lesson challenges the student to look into the future and reflect on the past.

9 – 12

Quick Button Art

Button art is an inexpensive, creative project that's easy to do with a group, and produces great results.

K – 12

Labyrinths

Found in art and architecture around the world, labyrinths are associated with metaphor, mystery and mythology. Incorporating various materials, students create their own labyrinths that may also be used as a simple game.

K – 12

Golden Door Book

Using The Golden Door as a theme to search for historical and aesthetic content, students create a paper collage containing relevant images, text and expressions.

5 – 12

Canvas Screen

Students use all the elements and principles of design.

8 – 12

African Ceremonial Mask

Studying the rich history of maskmaking in Africa is a perfect way for students to experience the relationship between the process of creating a piece of art, and appreciating the significance it carries

5 – 12

African Embossed Leather Box

Creates African-inspired art by covering paper-maché boxes with Leather Bookcloth. Emboss with patterns and textures and add colorful beads by gluing or stitching.

5 – 12

Altered Images

Hand-altering photos is a practice nearly as old as photography itself. Here are some new ideas for embellishing digital prints, featuring Blick Studio Art Markers and Scratch-Art Tools.

5 – 12

Book of Secrets

This book-making and collage project uses small matchboxes as drawers to tuck away secrets, supporting a variety of literary and historical studies, such as “The Hiding Place” (Anne Frank) or the Underground Railroad.

3 – 12

Canvas Loom Weaving

With its repetitive under-and-over motion, weaving creates a visual rhythm. Choose a few musical selections for students and have them interpret the six principles of design while listening to music: contrast, rhythm, unity, pattern, movement and balance.

9 – 12

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Special Education

 

Grade Level

NEW! Make a Fake Cake!

Using the paintings of Wayne Thiebaud as inspiration, students prepare visually delightful, deliciously decorated sculptural cupcakes using a new, voluminous finger paint that spreads like frosting, yet dries to a strong, durable finish.

Watch the Video

K – 8
Special Education

Artist’s Challenge Coins (ACC’s)

Challenge Coins are specially designed and minted for service personnel to recognize an achievement, enhance morale, or to signify membership in (or experience on) a particular mission. Create a personal Artist's Challenge Coin (ACC) by making a small print, collage, stamp, or photo appliqué one side of a coin-shaped wooden disk, and a challenge or message on the reverse.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

“Gawu” — African Inspired Tapestry

Ghana-born artist El Anatsui is known internationally for his large-scale sculptures called “Gawu,” a composite of the words “ga,” meaning something made of metal and 'wu,” meaning a fashioned garment. In this lesson, students create their own tapestries as a response to El Anatsui's art, using African kente to discover rhythm and pattern in art. Recycled materials can be used, including folded papers and labels.

K – 12
Special Education

Glue Paint Symmetry Prints

Finger Painting has never been so fun — or so very tidy! This project incorporates glue paint — basic white glue tinted with any shade of watercolor. It dries with a beautiful transparency that is enhanced when applied to a clear sheet. When the sheet is folded, the colors can be blended and moved about the page, without actually touching it!

K – 12
Special Education

Fauvism is for the Birds!

Les Fauves (translation: “The Wild Beasts”) were a group of artists whose work was characterized by seemingly wild brush work and strident colors. The colors the Fauves used are also favored by wild birds. Hummingbirds like red, orange and pink. Songbirds prefer colors that mimic trees and bushes. To see which species of birds are attracted to these “beastly” colors, students create a painted, hanging birdfeeder from a stretched canvas or “upcycled” wooden frame.

K – 12
Special Education

Painted Story Quilt

Quilt-making spans multiple centuries and cultures. It can teach math skills, record history, recycle cast-off materials and encourage cooperative efforts within a group...just for a few ideas! This lesson looks at the story quilts of Faith Ringgold. She surrounds her narrative paintings with a quilted border, creating stories in color, texture, and pattern. Students select their own story to illustrate, then paint fabric using watersoluble pastels and watercolor.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Art RX Journal

Exercise for art is as important as exercise for sports or rehearsal for theatre, as it fosters a continual pursuit of excellence. In this lesson, to exercise their artistic creativity, students keep a day-by-day art journal. Each page should be a simple statement of a different idea or small thought for the day.

K – 12
Special Education

Rhythm in Layers

Low relief sculpture with design in mind. Layer by layer, piece by piece, this three-dimensional collage is assembled with repetitious shapes and elements, illustrating the principles of rhythm, balance and movement.

Watch the Video

3 – 12
Special Education

Insoluble Paintings

Based on the scientific concepts of insolubility and density, this technique seals water-based paint and mineral oil inside a laminating pouch. The different densities cause the liquids to repel one another in an ever-changing and interactive piece that continually flows and responds to touch.

Watch the Video

K – 12
Special Education

Woodsies “Extraordinaire”

This project is quick and inexpensive but big on creativity. In addition to the wood shapes, all that is needed is a little glue, paint, marker and enough imagination for embellishment. Add a pin back or magnet for function.

2 – 8
Special Education

Natural Twig Journals

This simple bookmaking project can achieve great results with a wide variety of ages. Using nature as a theme, it's a perfect place to record nature sketches, foliage collections and personal observations of the world around us.

K – 12
Special Education

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