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Lesson Plans for Grades 5 – 8

  • 2 Dimensional (142 Lesson Plans)
  • Graphic And Digital Art (7 Lesson Plans)
  • 3 Dimensional (169 Lesson Plans)
  • Maskmaking (7 Lesson Plans)
  • Art History (73 Lesson Plans)
  • Metal And Wire Art (33 Lesson Plans)
  • Book And Paper Arts (69 Lesson Plans)
  • Mixed Media (82 Lesson Plans)
  • Clay (52 Lesson Plans)
  • Multicultural (48 Lesson Plans)
  • Collage (37 Lesson Plans)
  • Painting (94 Lesson Plans)
  • Crafts (76 Lesson Plans)
  • Printmaking (28 Lesson Plans)
  • Drawing (49 Lesson Plans)
  • Sculpture (66 Lesson Plans)
  • Fiber Art (36 Lesson Plans)
  • Undefined Discipline (1 Lesson Plan)

  • Ancient Bas-Relief Casting
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    2 Dimensional

     

    Grade Level

    NEW! Matisse Prints du Soleil

    Henri Matisse survived cancer to find a renewed energy and expressionism in artworks he called “scissor paintings.” Inspired by his cut-paper shapes, students can use sunlight or an artificial source to create color-saturated prints on fabric or paper.

    K – 12
    Special Education

    NEW! “Selfies” (exactly where I want to be)

    Creating self portraits is a snap with this easy technique! Facial proportions and features are traced onto clear film, then layered over a background of a student’s own choosing — a location where she or he would most like to take a “selfie.”

    K – 8

    NEW! Torn Metal Collage

    Inspired by Byzantine mosaics and tapestries, Austrian artist Gustav Klimt was acclaimed for his gilded paintings. Students use metallic paper to create their own opulent artwork, which is then gently embossed and “antiqued” with tempera.

    3 – 12
    Special Education

    NEW! Black Velvet Mystery Painting

    Applying oil pastels to black rayon fabric makes a striking composition, but when students add UV paint and a black light, the finished paintings really glow.

    K – 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!

    3 – 12

    NEW! Shibori Kimono

    Experiment with Japanese paper-dyeing techniques using traditional rice papers, then share papers to create simple origami kimonos. The result is a stunning combination of art and culture.

    3 – 12

    NEW! 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

    NEW! Simple Silk Screen in the Round

    Silk screening is made simple with the use of an embroidery hoop frame and Mod Podge! Simply draw an image on silk screen fabric with a pencil and paint around the outside with Mod Podge. Pull fabric ink though with a squeegee and you're done! Add handpainted details to add even more color.

    2 – 12

    NEW! 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

    Decalcomania: Glue Paint Symmetry Prints

    “Decalcomania” was a techique was used by Surrealists to create impromptu paintings controlled largely by chance. Much like a Rorschach Ink-Blot test, they would search for hidden imagery and develop it into a finished painting. This tidy and highly interactive process uses Glue Paint in a finger painting-style of application — without actually touching it. Looking for hidden images and contour lines in the print will fuel the imagination of a young Surrealist!

    Watch the Video

    K – 12
    Special Education

    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

    Muslin Masterpiece

    Create a beautiful textile design using dye sticks and block printing.

    K – 12

    The Secret Life of your Pet!

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

    K – 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

    Burroughs on Burlap

    Printmaking on burlap results in a beaufitul rusticity.

    3 – 12

    Color Field Sketchbook

    Stain painting was a successful technique employed by Color Field artists Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Louis. They poured diluted acrylic color over large canvases to form “veils” of brilliant color. In this lesson, students will first learn a simple process for creating their own drawing pad, then stain and design a canvas cover for it.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12

    “Nesting” with Wool

    Roll up a felted masterpiece! Students easily create beautiful wool paintings using soap, water, and a little elbow grease.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12

    Prairie-Style Stained Glass Clings

    Frank Lloyd Wright referred to his stained glass windows as “light screens” because they interacted with the view behind them, rather than covering or obscuring it. Here, students use geometry and repeating patterns to create a vinyl window cling that incorporates the ideals of Prairie-Style Design.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12

    White on White Collagraph

    Printmaking — starring textures and shapes! A collagraph printing plate is created on a canvas panel using textures found in the classroom, textured gel mediums, or even textures from nature! After a final coat of gel medium is applied, the plate and paper are run through a printing press.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12

    Sumi-e Resist Painting

    NOTE! The liquid wax used in this lesson plan is now tinted green. Artwork produced using this process will not look like the examples shown. Practice the ancient art of sumi-e painting with a modern twist! Paint with diluted wax resist, then reveal your masterpiece by applying black sumi-e ink over the top. The addition of watercolor gives the painting even more interest.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12

    Sheepish Composition

    This lesson plan introduces wool roving, which is the raw, washed wool from the sheep that is then dyed a variety of beautiful colors. The wool strands will be used to "paint" onto a canvas of felt. The wool is very easily "felted" or punched into the background with a felting needle.

    K – 12

    Changing Faces

    With this fun project, facial features become puzzle pieces that can be changed over and over again. It's a light and humorous way to examine the endless variety found in human faces and skin tones.

    K – 8

    Eye-Popping Paper Curls

    Quilling is also known as paper filligree, paper rolling, mosaic or paper folding (even though the paper is really curled). In this project, students will try their hand at quilling in a truly sculptural way. By using much larger, thicker strips of paper, the finished product "pops" out in a very optical way. By using black on white, the effect is even further emphasized.

    3 – 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

    Scrimshaw-Style Yupo Engraving

    As early as 1750, New England whalers passed the time by engraving nautical artwork on bones, tusks, etc. As a means of experiencing this traditional American craft, students can etch into Yupo using scratch tools, then fill the lines with oil pastel.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    String Painting

    Inspired by Huichol Nierikas — beautiful paintings made from yarn pressed onto beeswax — this is a simple way for students to experience the color, geometric linework and symbolism of this Native American art form. Using colorful string applied to an adhesive-backed piece of felt, students create their designs without messy glue or sharp cutting tools.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12

    Tibetan Wishing Banner

    Tibetan wish or prayer flags traditionally are used to promote peace, compassion, strength and wisdom. Tibetans do not believe that the flags carry prayers to the gods, but rather that their messages and wishes will be blown by the wind to spread goodwill and compassion into all-pervading space. In this project, students will use a liquid wax resist that will be painted onto silk rectangles and need not be removed. Vibrant color and a final gold embellishment finish the piece.

    2 – 12

    WonderFoam Collagraph Prints

    WonderFoam is familiar to almost everyone who has ever presented a craft project to children — but, if you'd like to move beyond the "foamies" to a real art technique, incorporate WonderFoam into printmaking! “Collagraph” is a process in which materials are arranged collage-style on a rigid surface, coated with tempera paint and then transferred to paper. Students learn to make repeating patterns with shapes.

    K – 6
    Special Education

    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

    Impressionistic Marker Painting

    You won't believe what these markers can do! The juicy, alcohol-based ink reacts with itself or with hand-sanitizer to make painterly drawings on clear plastic film.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 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

    Monotype Hoop-La

    Functioning as both a painting and a print, a Monotype is unique and irreproducible. The “hoop-la” over Monotype can be experienced in your classroom with this simplified, safely water-based process using acrylic paint, printing foam and fabric. The technique builds the print a layer at a time and tools are used to remove or “subtract” color between layers. Stretch the finished print ona gold macramé ring for an instant frame.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 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

    Illuminated Initials

    The practice of illumination — decoration of pages with ornate lettering, luminous color and precious metals, was developed during the middle ages when literacy was rare and books were even more so. With this process, students design one of their own initials on reflective board and add transparent color — it appears to glow with reflective light from within.

    3 – 8

    Egg-stra Easy Watercolor “Crunch”

    Traditionally, eggshell mosaics are made by first dying then positioning each shard individually — a time-consuming and delicate process. This project introduces a new way to crush and color eggshells, creating intricate veining and texture all at once without pre-dying or arranging each fragment. The simple glue-and-paint process and satisfying “crunch!” of breaking eggshells will delight children of all ages and skill levels.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12
    Special Education

    Thematic Clay Picture Frames

    A lesson plan from AMACO®. Students select their favorite photo and design a custom picture frame to display it. After the bisque firing, the picture frames will be painted and decorated using the new AMACO® Teacher's Choice and Teacher's Palette low-fire glazes.

    K – 6

    Peace Windows: in the style of Marc Chagall’s stained glass

    Late in his career, artist Marc Chagall produced a number of paintings in glass with colorful, dream-like images symbolizing peace, love, tolerance and faith. In reality, Marc Chagall’s life was filled with tragic events and the world he lived in was anything but peaceful. In light of this fact, students can begin to understand an artist’s ability to share healing, inspiration and encouragement, using “peace” as a theme.

    Watch the Video

    K – 8
    Special Education

    “Print & Go” T-Shirts

    Printing creative T-shirts and fabrics doesn’t always require stencils and screens — students can easily design their own giant stamps and paint them any way they want. Even if each shirt displays the same message, each will be a completely unique work of art! This process is perfect for group settings — schools, camps, daycare centers, clubs, family reunions and special events — but it is also ideal for countless home decorating and craft projects.

    K – 8
    Special Education

    Stencil a Painting

    Stencils and repeated patterns have been used in painting as long ago as 9,000 years, when early humans placed their hands against cave walls and outlined them in charcoal or paint. In this lesson, even a stencil made of basic shapes can be effective. Each stencil can be used repeatedly, and by changing oil pastel color, overlapping images, or using only a part of an image, the result is a cohesive composition that has depth and color fusion.

    4 – 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

    Graffiti Fun Art

    Encourage students to design a personal and stylized signature or “tag.” The tag can be a given name, a nickname or something they’ve made up to represent themselves. This school version of graffiti shows students that lettering is not only important in communicating, but that it can also be an artistic expression.

    1 – 6

    Itajime Decorative Paper

    Itajime Shibori is a technique for folding, clamping and dyeing paper or fabric resulting in beautiful designs – very similar to tie-dye. The folds and clamps keep the dye or ink from penetrating fully in certain areas making patterns and giving a dimensional appearance on a flat surface. This project is a great way to teach students the scientific concept of diffusion and color mixing.

    3 – 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

    On the Wall Motifs

    Students select a commercial business and consider images, symbols and colors that will best represent the company. The repeated “wallpaper” patterns are made with a stamp designed and carved by the students. This fun project will help children understand how simple images communicate a message, whether in business or elsewhere.

    4 – 6

    Chenille Stem Stitchery

    Spanish painter Joan Miró is known for his playful art. Although he was a world renowned artist, his work gives the impression it could have been created by a child. Miró was interested in reducing characters to their simplest forms and using very basic, bright colors. He felt some of the best ideas were inspired by the simplest things. In this project, students attach and weave Chenille Stems onto stitchery canvas to make simple shapes and designs.

    K – 6
    Special Education

    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

    Making Elemental Drawing Materials

    Blick Art Materials was not around to provide art supplies 32,000 years ago, but, somehow, the earliest humans found a way to draw and paint on cave walls using materials made from basic elements all around them. Similar to the Paleolithic era, students will make their own drawing tools by transforming simple materials from the classroom, and then using them to communicate through images.

    K – 12

    No-Fire Nouveau Tiles

    Beginning in the early 1880s, the “Art Nouveau” style flourished in all forms of art. Beautiful pottery was mass-produced during this era, especially in the form of decorative tiles. Tube lining — a technique in which a design outline was created first and then filled in with color — is the definitive look of Art Nouveau. If kiln-glazed ceramics are not an option for your environment, this project is a way to produce glossy, hand-painted tiles that look like the real thing.

    Watch the Video

    K – 8
    10 – 12
    Special Education

    Altered Penny Carpet

    In the 1800s, many homes were decorated with “Penny Carpets”, made from miss-matched fabric cut into circles by tracing around a penny. Patches were then layered and stitched together to make a large piece. Students create a Penny Carpet with fabric that they design themselves using monoprinting techniques and fabric paint. Each section is sewed to felt swatches, then joined to make a larger piece of art.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12

    EZ Grout Mosaics

    Students of all ages can mimic mosaic artisans throughout history with these easy tile-making and “grouting” techniques. Clay tiles are glued to a firm backboard and grouted with acrylic paint. This project is safe and simple enough for younger students and those with special needs.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12
    Special Education

    Metal Magic Journals

    The magic is in the color! Wax Pastels adhere to the slick surface of tooling foil and stay there. Students explore tools and texture plates to create designs in lightweight metal, then, using simple page-binding techniques, assemble a lovely hardcover book to use for notes, sketches, journaling, scrapbooking or photos.

    3 – 8

    Middle East Reflections

    Geometric patterns occur in rich profusion throughout Islamic Cultures. This lesson is an invitation to look at the history and meaning behind patterns and view the work of a contemporary Iranian artist. Students design and assemble a reflective mosaic pattern using metallic papers on adhesive film. Easy and tidy...no glue!

    K – 12

    Quilt Block Collage

    What we think of as “quilts” today — pieces of fabric sewn together to form blocks that collectively make a whole — did not become popular until the mid 19th century. Making quilts was a means of “recycling” fabric from clothing that was no longer usable. In this lesson plan, students make a quilt block using paper and glue rather than fabric and stitching. It’s a great way to recycle materials and illustrate a number of design principles — rhythm, pattern, balance and unity.

    3 – 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

    "Diaper Wipe" Diffusion

    This project demonstrates the physical process of osmosis. Water-based markers are diluted by filtering water through an ordinary wet wipe. The flow of the color is slowed and channeled by the presence of oil and alchohol in the wipe, creating random and interesting tie-dye-type patterns. Educational...and really fun to watch!

    K – 5
    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

    Persian and Navajo Rug Bookmarks

    This lesson plan explains two diverse and beautiful style of textiles: Persian carpets and Navajo rugs. Similar colors and geometric shapes are two common elements of both.

    4 – 8

    Photo Tinting

    Turn a black and white photo into a "riot" of color! Tinting is a simple technique that challenges students of all ages to pay attention to detail, and even young children can do it with success. In this project, class pictures are enlarged, printed in black-and-white and tinted. The use of non-traditional colors is encouraged.

    K – 6

    "Rapper" Art

    Collect and recycle product wrappers for a "green" art project worthy of good-citizen attention! Students save and trade wrappers to make a paper background, then choose words and phrases related to their "rapper" collage and cut them from thin foam to create a printing plate. "Rapper" Art is an easy process for making posters, book covers and signs in multiples.

    K – 6

    Souper Art

    This is a whimsical introduction to nutrition and graphic design that invites students to make up an imaginary soup. National studies indicate that children eat about anything if the advertising is "crazy" or attractive to them, including vitamins and vegetables. Now its students' turn to entice peers to "buy" their soup! Anyone for Alligator Soup?

    K – 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

    Plantable Pulp Cards

    This is a great project for teaching recycling and renewal. Using a plastic stencil and screen, students make a shaped piece of handmade paper from cast-off scraps. Flower and vegetable seeds are added to the pulp. When dry, the rough-textured paper can be decorated with paint or drawing materials and glued to the front of a card. When planting season arrives, place the shape in the soil to make a beautiful garden.

    Watch the Video

    K – 8

    Artists' Stamps

    This lesson plan is designed to celebrate fine artists by honoring them with a "commemorative stamp." This project also introduces students to philately, the study and collection of stamps.

    3 – 6

    Model a Famous Painting in Friendly Plastic

    Students will use Amaco Friendly Plastic to create a likeness of a famous painting or work of art.

    7 – 10

    Solar-Powered Prints

    A "cyanotype" is a photographic print made when UV light is exposed to a photo-sensitive paper. This lesson plan is a simple new process involving two safe and familiar classroom favorites — Nature Print Paper and Scratch Art. The finished arwork has the appearance of a linoleum block print — without the use of cutting tools or ink.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 8

    The Four Freedoms

    During World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt delivered a State of the Union speech in which he spoke of four basic freedoms he dreamed of being available to everyone in the world. Artist Norman Rockwell interpreted these freedoms in a series of popular paintings published by the Saturday Evening Post in 1943. This lesson plan challenges students to consider the concept of freedom: what it meant to a president, an artist and what it means to them today.

    3 – 6
    8

    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

    EZ Encaustics

    EZ Encaustic uses only small amounts of soft decorating wax that may be softened by hand or by using low temperature heat. Also included are instructions for a Painterly Encaustic process, using melted wax.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    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

    Rex-Lace Appliqué

    The traditional folk craft of straw appliqué — using various shades of dry straw adhered to a rigid surface — has been practiced in many nations. Students can create their own appliqué designs with a very modern medium: bright, vinyl craft lacing — familiar for making lanyards and bracelets — easily cut in pieces and laid side-by-side on an adhesive surface to form colorful designs.

    K – 6

    Simple Suminagashi Monoprints

    Suminagashi is a process in which Sumi ink is floated on the surface of plain water, then transferred to a sheet of paper. Each monoprint is like a fingerprint — unique and unreproducible.

    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

    No-Blender Pulp Painting

    This project is a simple, tidy way to create the look of pulp painting without the mess of a blender or even the use of adhesive. Non-bleeding tissue paper is combined with water and agitated (torn) so that the paper fibers separate and make a rough pulp. Pressing the paper onto an absorbent (canvas) surface causes the fibers to re-bond with one another and, when dry, form a thicker, stronger paper.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12
    Special Education

    Paper Molas

    Molas are the brightly colored applique panels made only in the San Blas region of Panama by the Kuna Indians. Once the paper Molas are completed, have the children discuss their importance to the Kuna Indian women and their culture.

    4 – 6

    Illuminated Text

    Illumination is the decorating of books or manuscripts with ornate lettering, scrollwork, icons and images. This lesson plan introduces an easy and inexpensive way to apply metal leaf to a single letter, then embellish it using colored pencils.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    No Sew Molas

    The Kuna culture flourishes today in the San Blas Islands with the vibrant trade of native Molas — brightly colored cotten panels that have been hand-sewn for many decades. Kuna women use both appliqué and reverse appliqué sewing techniques. These easy “no sew” Molas are made with felt and glue, rather than stitching.

    K – 8

    Simple Perspective with the Artist’s Grid Canvas

    For a first lesson in one-point linear perspective, a grid is a perfect tool for beginning painters. It eliminates time spent measuring and marking, allowing students to achieve perfect accuracy on their first try.

    4 – 12

    Clay Divisionism

    Neo-Impressionistic artists of the late 1800s developed a pictorial technique in which they placed specific brushstrokes of pure color directly on their canvas instead of mixing colors first on a palette. In this lesson plan, students will create balls of air dry clay and attach them collage-style to a self-adhesive board to recreate the Divisionism approach to painting.

    2 – 6

    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

    Woven Felt Wall Hanging

    The fine art of weaving is explored using acrylic felt. This lesson also offers an opportunity to discuss fabric used for clothing, blankets and other items found in various cultures

    3 – 12

    Huichol Clay Painting

    This lesson plan uses intensely colorful, easy-to-use Model Magic air-dry clay in place of yarn to create paintings similar to the art of the Huichol tribe. Students create “strings” of clay and press them together on a rigid surface. to create symbolic images and designs.

    3 – 8

    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

    Neo Neon

    Classic neon signs are a part of everyday American culture, crossing over lines of economics, geography and heritage. This lesson incorporates the glowing “light painting” impact of neon signage in a clean, neat and easy-to-understand learning experience.

    5 – 8

    On a Starry Night...

    Art history is an excellent discipline to accompany this lesson plan, as students become familiar with masterpieces by various artists. Students will choose an artwork that inspires them from a specifictime, genre or culture, and paint their own version on a cardboard frame.

    3 – 8

    Screen Print Collage

    Using a single large screen divided into multiple small square window panes, a class of 15-20 students create their own individual art project that becomes part of the whole. A lesson plan from Speedball.

    3 – 12

    Silk Suncatchers

    The natural translucent quality of silk paired with transparent paints rivals the glow of stained glass when held up to the sun. This is an easy way to teach introductory silk paintin.

    7 – 12

    Sparkle Fish

    Everyone has something unique and wonderful to share with the world, as illustrated in the sparkling story of the “The Rainbow Fish”, by Marcus Pfister. This is a simple and tidy art project with a special surprise for students — what they think are “ugly” scales are revealed to be sparkly, holographic ones!

    K – 5

    Stencil City

    Stencil City is a place that only exists on paper. It is created by cutting stencils in shapes of buildings and then using them to create areas of color against a black background. The end result is a nightglow cityscape.

    2 – 8

    Texture Critters

    Oaxacan woodcarvings of animals are decorated with whimsical color and loaded with all-over designs. This project lets students explore simple shapes and textures by drawing an outline shape of an animal then filling it in with as many textures and patterns as they can think of.

    2 – 8

    Tie-Dye Guitar T-Shirt

    This outrageously fun guitar design can be created in 1-1/2 to 2 hours from start to the end of the dyeing process.

    7 – 12

    Torn Paper Collage Journals

    An easy bookmaking lesson that works across the entire curriculum. Students make books to use as journals or scrapbooks and fill with personnel stories or poetry, sketches or photos.

    3 – 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

    Van Gogh Clay Plaque

    This lesson plan begins by focusing on line and texture as students sculpt a flat slab of clay, defining an impressionistic landscape. Once the clay has dried, students will paint the piece using a palette of colors inspired by Van Gogh.

    5 – 8

    Water-Based Monotype

    Students will learn basic drawing and painting skills through monotype using Akua inks and a variety of brushes, sponges or even fingers to apply and modify their drawings — it’s safe and easy to clean up.

    3 – 8

    Paper Weaving

    A simple lesson to explore the basic concepts of weaving.

    3 – 8

    Positive & Negative Space

    Minimal resources, great results! This lesson promotes an awareness of shape and space.

    K – 8

    Melted Paintings

    Part Salvidor Dali and part "Shrinky Dinks," this project compels students to reach beyond a traditional, flat painting and feeds their natural hunger for artistic experimentation.

    7 – 12

    Hand-Colored History

    Students will easily connect with historical studies of their own community or family history.

    5 – 12

    Global Village

    These paper dolls are wonderful to combine with the Global Village Paper. They can easily be turned into old-fashioned paper dolls, displayed in chains and hung. Or create a globe and arrange dolls around the total outside edge.

    K – 5

    Graph Paper Patterns

    Adaptable for almost any age level, the basis for this lesson is very simple: define a space and fill it with a repetition of color, line and shape to make what we define as a Pattern.

    3 – 8

    Faux Stained Glass Lanterns

    Examples of intricately-designed stained glass can be found around the world: from gothic and medieval cathedral glass, to the art of Louis Tiffany and John La Farge. This project creates the look of stained glass in a simple process using Scratch-Art® Clear-Scratch™ film and permanent Sharpie® markers.

    3 – 8

    Corrugated Cardboard Silhouettes

    In this lesson, students cut papers into silhouette forms. The unity of shapes stress the principles and elements of design.

    5 – 12

    Corrugated Paper

    Young people are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings and find squares, rectangles, rounds and the hardest triangles in everyday materials

    5 – 8

    Creative Paper Making

    Teach your students how to make paper with this project.

    3 – 8

    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

    Braille Paintings

    Explore the beauty of Braille

    3 – 8

    Burlap Weaving

    The coarse, open weave of burlap substitutes for a weaving loom in this fiber art project.

    5 – 12

    Easy Fabric Batik with Glue

    Explore the beauty of fabric batik without the danger of hot wax or dyes. Simply trace a design onto muslin with washable glue and add brilliant color.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 8

    Flip Flop Drawing

    A drawing becomes a painting, then flips back to a drawing again as students use variety to explore surfaces, media and techniques.

    5 – 12

    Home Town Map

    As they create maps of their route between their homes and their schools, students learn about distance, signs, symbols, landmarks and safety.

    K – 6

    Mean Green

    In painting, color can be used to describe emotions, feelings and ideas. Students select a color and paint a monochromatic theme of their choosing.

    K – 12

    Mini Monets

    This project uses pastels; a favored medium of Impressionist artists – drawn onto matte surface Shrink Film. The chalk of the pastels doesn't actually shrink, it simply condenses along with the film to form rich, intense areas of color.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 10

    Monoprinting with Watercolor Markers

    A simple project that introduces students to printing.

    1 – 8
    Special Education

    Paper Maki-e

    Maki-e translates "sprinkle pictures" – the beautiful art of Japanese lacquerware. To achieve a similar look, cut and glue painted papers to a surface and sprinkle with metallic powdered pigments.

    5 – 12

    Pastel Fresco Secco

    "Secco" is the term used for applying color to dry plaster, the manner Da Vinci used in his famed "The Last Supper." Using Plaster of Paris, students create drawings then purposefully add stress fractures.

    Watch the Video

    1 – 12

    Perfect Proportion

    "The “grid method” has been used for centuries to create accurate proportions when painting. Blick Exclusive Artist Grid Canvas makes it easier to place objects from a photograph and plot landscapes, still lifes and portraits."

    5 – 12

    Ribbon Weave

    "Paper, paint and ribbon are used to develop a pattern with contrasting textures and colors."

    K – 6

    Shrink Art Mosaics

    Create your own mosaic pieces — any design, shape or color you want them to be! This project combines the fun and excitement of Shrink Film with the fine art of mosaics.

    5 – 12

    Simple Perspective

    "A beginning lesson in one-point linear perspective. Grid Canvas eliminates time spent measuring and marking, allowing students to achieve perfect accuracy on their first try."

    4 – 12

    Three Columns

    The architectural style developed by the ancient Greeks has had such an influence on world civilization that it surrounds us still today. This block printing lesson introduces the three orders of Greek columns and challenges students to discover them in famous buildings and the surrounding community.

    6 – 12

    Ultimate Paisley Patterns

    First seen in Persian fabric design, the signature floral kidney and tear shapes of Paisley prints are a great lesson in pattern and rhythm. French curves and colored pencils are used to draw colorful versions on construction paper.

    3 – 12

    Aloha Shirts

    Create Hawaiian-inspired shirts with brightly-colored flowers, leaves, and fish by printing them using fabric paints. "Gyotaku" - the Japanese word for "fish print"- is a fun and exciting way to give shirts an island beach look.

    5 – 8

    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

    Asian Banners

    Introduce students to calligraphy, ink, folding and dyeing techniques. The end result is a beautiful banner they will be proud to hang up!

    3 – 8

    A.T.C. Artist Trading Cards

    Artist Trading Cards are a fascinating pastime for a great number of professional artists. The cards are always 2½" × 3½", a size that fits into standard baseball card storage sleeves

    K – 7
    Special Education

    Bread Spread

    This lesson will spark students’ creativity as they use an unconventionalmaterial — French bread — to enhance their pastel paintings

    K – 6

    Carnival Scratch Art Mask

    Explore the history of carnival masks from various cultures. Ornate and colorful masks are easy to create with Scratch Art Film and permanent markers.

    K – 8

    Ceramic Tile Painting

    Oven baked water-based acrylic paint on glazed tile looks like kiln fired glazed tile. The paint is available in a wide range of colors and can be layered and blended to make other colors.

    K – 12

    Checkerboard

    In this project, students will use simple geometry tools to make lines and circular shapes, then define a pattern within the boundaries of the overlapping shapes using the repetition of two colors. This is a good, easy introduction to the elements of line, pattern and shape.

    5 – 8

    Collagraph Printmaking

    A very creative and experimental form of printmaking, collagraphs can be made with cardboard, yarn, fabric, leaves, tape and more.

    2 – 8

    Crazy Quilt Texture Boards

    Students will enjoy exploring the wide variety of textures they can create with acrylic modeling paste on a rigid surface.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 8

    Drawing with Thread

    "Drawing with Thread" is an interpretation of work by Wassily Kandinski in 1913. Kandinski is called the first totally abstract artist. Free flowing water color and line suggests but does not define images.

    K – 8

    Marbleized Paper

    Even young students can achieve beautiful results — without the use of chemicals or special materials.

    K – 12

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    3 Dimensional

     

    Grade Level

    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.

    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.

    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.

    K – 8
    Special Education

    NEW! “Mama” Spider Sculptures

    Created as an ode to her mother, one of the largest sculptures in the world is Louise Bourgeois’ “Maman.” — a bronze spider that stands 30 feet tall. These wire and tissue versions assume natural, and sometimes even creepy, poses!

    3 – 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!

    3 – 12

    NEW! Shibori Kimono

    Experiment with Japanese paper-dyeing techniques using traditional rice papers, then share papers to create simple origami kimonos. The result is a stunning combination of art and culture.

    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!

    5 – 12

    NEW! 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!

    3 – 12

    NEW! 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!

    5 – 12

    NEW! Simple Silk Screen in the Round

    Silk screening is made simple with the use of an embroidery hoop frame and Mod Podge! Simply draw an image on silk screen fabric with a pencil and paint around the outside with Mod Podge. Pull fabric ink though with a squeegee and you're done! Add handpainted details to add even more color.

    2 – 12

    NEW! Spoon Skulls

    Sugar Skulls are a folk art tradition from central and southern Mexico, made as part of the Day of the Dead celebration. Students can create and decorate a long-lasting skull from glow-in-the-dark clay pressed into a common tablespoon used as a mold. Add colorful designs with tempera paint or markers and enjoy Dia de Muertos!

    1 – 8

    NEW! 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.

    K – 12

    NEW! 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

    NEW! Wire Art Quilt

    A decorative, sculptural interpretation of the Friendship Quilt. Wire is an amazing art medium — it can be bent to form a variety of lines, shapes, letters, and images, outlining patterns in the way that individual pieces of fabric make up each square in a traditional quilt. Elementary-age students can work easily with chenille stems and colorful plastic-coated wire while older students will create art with soft steel, aluminum, and copper wire

    3 – 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

    Block-Print Koinobori

    In Japan, Children's Day on May 5th is heralded by the appearance of flying fish: carp-shaped windsocks known as “Koinobori”. In this lesson, students design a “scale”-shaped block from soft block printing material and apply it repetitively to outdoor-safe fabric that has been cut in the shape of a fish. Add details like eyes, fins, and a tail using metallic and sparkle paint, and the Koinobori is ready to hang and “swim” through the breeze!

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12

    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

    Concentric Kirigami

    A variation on Japanese Origami, Kirigami is created by folding paper and cutting portions away. This surprisingly uncomplicated relief sculpture is assembled with “rings” cut from double-sided sheets of colorful cardstock. The edges of the rings are folded, cut, unfolded, and layered concentrically (placed around the same center point) to make modern-day Kirigami designs.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12

    Convertible “Canned” Sculpture

    Composition — the way the elements of a piece of art are arranged and relate to each other — can be difficult to grasp. This lesson plan presents an easy, forgiving way to see the effects of composition while using the dimensional works of Frank Stella as an example. The sculpture is assembled with magnets on a metal can so it can be taken apart and rearranged to see how the composition is affected — what works and what doesn’t.

    3 – 12

    Flower Garden Tiles

    Easily make flower tiles by carving clay, filling with plaster, and finishing with liquid watercolors.

    Watch the Video

    K – 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

    The Walls are Watching You!

    Form a whimsical and functional "pocket" to animate a wall. This project combines the wall pocket with a face jug, creating a fun and whimsical (or scary) face pocket out of clay.

    Watch the Video

    2 – 12

    Upcycled "Wild Thing" Mittens

    An outgrown sweater becomes a fun pair of costume mittens! Use a recycled wool sweater, shrink film, and other adornments to create a fun and functional "Wild Thing" mitten.

    Watch the Video

    K – 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

    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

    Coral Reef Creation

    Brilliantly replicate thousands of years of oceanic evolution in just a few hours. Using clay, paint, and pearlescent mixing medium, along with handmade clay stamps, create a beautiful coral sculpture.

    K – 12

    Dancing Houses

    Part cartoonist and part Picasso, the art of Brooklyn-born James Rizzi is highly recognizable. His playful, brilliant images created a style he described as “Urban Primitive.” Students will enjoy making a classroom cityscape of fun and fabulous construction paper buildings. A simple wire armature beneath allows the structure to be playfully positioned -— almost as if it were dancing. This project provides a lesson in movement as design principle.

    Watch the Video

    K – 9

    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

    My Daruma

    A traditional Japanese weighted toy, Daruma always return to an upright position. This project reveals how to weight the bottom of a plastic egg and cover with instant maché to make these symbols of success, determination, and overcoming adversity.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12

    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

    Ancient Bas-Relief Casting

    Create an ancient "carving" using cast paper and blasa foam!

    5 – 12

    Accordion Poetry

    Transform a single line of text into a dimensional work of art!

    5 – 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

    ArtStraw Architecture

    Skyscrapers evolved from the inside out — as steel frames became stronger, windows and walls became lighter, like a “skin.” Students can construct high-rise buildings (or low-rise designs) that are extremely light and open — they're made with paper straws and corrugated plastic joints (no glue required). Imagination grows with the construction — higher and higher!

    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

    Textural Glass Slumping

    Create a textured clay mold to use again and again! Carve a design into a slab and bisque fire it. After coating it with kiln wash, this mold can be used many times to impart unique textures to slumped glass pieces.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12

    Mehndi Art Gloves

    Originating in ancient India, Mehndi is the artistic application of designs to the hands and feet. Students can enjoy the practice of Mehndi without staining their skin by creating radial designs in marker while wearing a glove. The sense of touch while creating the design is an important part of the process.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12
    Special Education

    African Clay Boxes

    By making an animal shaped box out of clay, students honor both the vast diversity of Africa’s animal world, and also create a functional work of art! After choosing a favorite African animal, students will hand build a clay box with lid.

    5 – 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

    Eye-Popping Paper Curls

    Quilling is also known as paper filligree, paper rolling, mosaic or paper folding (even though the paper is really curled). In this project, students will try their hand at quilling in a truly sculptural way. By using much larger, thicker strips of paper, the finished product "pops" out in a very optical way. By using black on white, the effect is even further emphasized.

    3 – 12

    Have a Ball! with distorted self-portraits

    Observing and reproducing the distortion caused by a concave reflection is the topic of this lesson plan, as students make self-portraits inspired by M.C. Escher's “Hand with Reflecting Globe.” The canvas is a vinyl bouncing ball. Elementary ages can be challenged to create a continuous painting — with no beginning or end — then “Have a Ball!” playing with their own artwork.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12
    Special Education

    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

    Rolly Bowls

    Glazing isn't the only way to create beautiful surfaces! Agateware pottery features swirling marbelized colors and was probably first developed to imitate the qualities of agate, a semiprecious stone with striated patterning. These swirling effects can be created by working with thin slabs of colored clay that has been layered to create patterns. This technique allows for both precise patterns and free, random effects.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 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

    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

    Picasso-Inspired Soft Sculpture

    By looking through the vast array of figurative paintings done by Picasso during his cubist phase, students may find many possibilities for soft sculpture adaptations. Fine art, sculpture and textiles combine to make this eye-catching piece!

    Watch the Video

    K – 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

    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

    Percussive Pods

    Rattles are the only musical instrument found throughout the world. While their physical forms vary, their uses are very consistent. Many cultures give infants rattles as a toy. In rituals and ceremonies, rattles are used prominently and often believed to possess supernatural powers. Students explore texture and clay construction as they form a rattle inspired by natural shapes: seed pods, shells, gourds, rain-sticks, etc.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12
    Special Education

    Pop Art Portraits: in the style of Andy Warhol

    Andy Warhol, a key figure in the Pop Art movement, “mass-produced” silk-screened portraits of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. Transferring an image of themselves onto clay and duplicating it several times, students can experiment with color combinations in portraits, just as Warhol did.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    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

    Navajo-Inspired Bottles - 2 Projects by Mayco® Colors

    Navajo pottery tended towards functional ware and minimalist design and decoration. Pinch, slab and coil construction methods were used to make bowls and bottles, for carrying water and food consumption. In these projects students will use their knowledge of Navajo symbols to create Navajo inspired designs on a clay bottles.

    4 – 8

    Polynesian “Medicine” Sticks

    Polynesia is a large area in the central and southern Pacific Ocean containing more than 1,000 scattered islands. Many of these islands share cultural similarities among the various groups of people who live on them, especially in terms of their mythologies. Stories often include gods or deities that rule nature. In addition to the oral tradition, "god sticks" are made to represent these deities, usually in the form of a human face or figure wrapped in bark cloth or cord.

    3 – 8

    Cubist Portrait Bust

    The first thing children learn when learning to draw a face or a figure is to view each part as a basic shape. This project approaches sculpture in the same way. Using geometric Styrofoam shapes, students build a bust or torso. The finished result resembles a simplified version of something you might have seen from Picasso or one of the other Cubist painters, only in three dimensions. This project is a good introduction to sculpture for young students.

    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

    Tubular Bowls

    A few simple geometry skills and a little time spent making paper rolls is all that goes into this eye-catching art paper bowl. It's a great way to recycle materials or use up scrap paper, and your students will learn about repeating patterns and design rhythm as they place each tube of paper on a piece of self-adhesive film.

    3 – 12

    Festival Flowers

    The easiest way to make colorful, three-dimensional paper flowers! Even young children will enjoy painting carnation-like blooms and creating full bouquets for Mother’s Day gifts, May Day celebrations, a Cinco de Mayo fiesta or a Hawaiian Luau. Each flower costs just pennies to make. Because the watercolors blend together and form new hues, painting each bloom is a good way to illustrate color mixing.

    K – 8

    Deconstructed Books

    There's more to "deconstructing" a book than just altering the pages. In this project, deconstructing means changing the object from a book to a sculpture. The tools are very basic — scissors, glue, paper punches and a desire to experiment!

    3 – 12
    Special Education

    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

    Mini Furniture Fabrications

    Students often take furniture for granted, yet how much do they really know about the furniture where they eat, sleep and study? Have they ever looked at these objects and considered them art? Or considered that an artist may have had a hand in creating them? This awareness exercise will help students learn to “see" the things surrounding them.

    7 – 12

    Painted “Silk” Shapes

    The production and commerce of decorated silk fabrics began thousands of years ago in China. This project introduces fine-mesh polyester as a silk-like fabric for painting. Form a wire shape as a support and paint with transparent liquid acrylic color. Finished pieces are flexible and may be heat-set for outdoor display.

    3 – 12

    Wee Puppets

    Exercising the imagination helps children develop problem-solving skills. This lesson incorporates students’ artistic skills to sculpt finger puppets out of clay and to use their imaginations to make up a story for their characters. The stories do not have to be written but can be told freely. Create a theatre in the classroom — a table with a cloth over it makes a great stage for Wee Puppets. This project is a wonderful interactive classroom event.

    K – 6

    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

    Recycled Book Boxes

    Rather than traditional pages, the interior of these “books” will hold objects collected by students. An “art box” book could contain samples of texture, color, form, and line or other examples of design elements or styles. Or a more personalized box “about me” could hold a collection of tiny photos, poems and small keepsakes.

    3 – 12

    Shining Constructivism

    Around the 1920s, a movement in modern art began in Russia as a group of artists began constructing sculpture for an industrialized world. As new technology produced strong, shining surfaces of glass, steel and plastic, Constructivists pioneered the use of modern, mechanical materials in art. This project weaves a variety of classroom-friendly “metals” — papers, foils and wires — into relief and three-dimensional art.

    5 – 12

    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

    Stabile Sculpture

    When one hears the name of Alexander Calder, the picture of kinetic hanging mobiles immediately comes to mind. These were only a portion of Calder’s vast body of work — he also painted and created stationary pieces called “stabiles.” Often, they resembled his mobiles — but without moving parts. In this lesson, students will create a “stabile” using Taskboard — a new, natural, wood-based medium used by architects and 3-D designers to create models.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    Button Bracelets

    Button Bracelets allow children to design a wearable piece of art with lots of color and texture — a new twist on craft bracelets! A leather wristband is used as a base and takes on a very different look when buttons and colorful wire are added.

    3 – 6

    Native American Story Necklaces

    One of the many rich crafts produced within the Native American culture is a "fetish," or story necklace, designed to illustrate history and legend with carved creatures representing spirits, animals or ancestors.

    K – 6

    Tissue Vases from Recycled Containers

    Turn recycled bottles or cups into "frosted glass" vases! This project allows students to work in three-dimensional designs as they build high-relief mini-murals "in the round." Younger students may create simplified and abstract work with white tissue paper and watercolors. Older students may achieve very sophisticated and detailed vases. Materials are quite inexpensive!

    K – 8

    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

    Forest Dwellings: Toad House

    Students will hand-build dwellings for forest animals and birds, beginning with flat clay slabs and using slump molds (and even a soda can!) to shape the slabs into three dimensional forms. They will use sprig and press molds to texture and embellish their structures to simulate trees, leaves, knot holes and burrows reminiscent of natural habitats found in woodlands.

    4 – 8

    Modern Figure Sculpture in the style of Alberto Giacometti

    To create the gracefully haunting look of a Giacometti figure, this lesson plan introduces Paverpol™, a unique product that can be used with a variety of materials — textiles, paper, self-hardening clay, paper maché and more — to make sculptures so sturdy that they can be placed outdoors. It's non-toxic, safe for anyone to use and dries so quickly, you can make a sculpture in one day.

    7 – 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

    Fabric Beads

    Fine craft artists today are exploring texture and color in all mediums. The fabric beads in this project encourage experimental use of materials to enhance and enrich traditional techniques.

    5 – 12

    Paper Clay Leaves

    Learn leaf anatomy by recreating the patterns and structure of the original. Because the clay is paper-based, it accepts watercolors, which may be reworked and blended on the surface. Watercolors enhance the veining in the leaves, pulling out their natural characteristics.

    K – 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

    Flexible "Glass" Sculpture

    Using flexible, translucent acrylic paint and soft, aluminum wire, students create abstract sculptures that can be formed and reformed. Addresses the design elements of form and shape. Displayed with a light source, they have the appearance of formed glass.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    Textured Metal Boxes

    This lesson plan combines the processes of repoussé and chasing to design a piece that looks as if it may have been crafted by an ancient silversmith. Objects are fixed to a cardboard box before the metal is applied so that the design is embossed into the metal in the style of repoussé. With tools, students then chase the metal around the objects to further define the texture.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12

    Burlap Figures

    Based on the sculpture of Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz, students create a 3-dimensional figure study in fiber.

    Watch the Video

    7 – 12

    Glass Fossils

    One means by which fossils are formed is "carbonization". Over time, compression and heat remove the elements from plants and leave a detailed carbon impression behind. Glass fusion can demonstrate this process in just a few hours.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    Bas Relief Paintings

    Students will design and sculpt a dimensional piece of artwork, creating a variety of textures, lines and depths.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    Filipino Parol

    In the Philippines, during the Festival of Lights, parol (puh-roll), or star-shaped lanterns, symbolize the victory of light over darkness as well as hope and goodwill. These simple parol are created with natural reed, translucent rice paper and liquid watercolor. Displayed in a window or hanging from a light fixture, they make colorful, festive decorations for any season.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 8

    Assemblage Art

    In this particular lesson plan, students will look closely at the work of Louise Nevelson, known for her abstract sculptures made from cast-off pieces of wood — actual street “throwaways” — uniformly coated with black or white spray paint. Students will create their own assemblages from wood pieces and other cast-off objects on a panel.

    5 – 12

    Art Press Tools

    Make your own tools for stamping image impressions, creating raised designs and adding textures to a variety of artworks. They can be pressed into clay prior to firing, polymer clay before baking and air-dry clay while still moist. Tools can also be used for creating patterns in metal foil or making texture rubbings on paper.

    K – 12
    Special Education

    Linoleum Art Press Tools

    Create simple tools that can be pressed into clay, used for embossing, texture rubbing or printmaking. Wonder-Cut Linoleum is 1/4" deep — providing plenty of depth for carving a variety of textures and dimensions and making incredibly detailed impressions.

    5 – 12

    High Low Relief Sculpture

    This High-Low Relief Sculpture is a variation on the popular three-dimensional pin sculpture toy that can be molded into familiar shapes as pressure is applied from underneath. These sculptures will be stationary with a few other variations, as students use their imaginations to create rolling landscapes, faces, flowers or other images out of different lengths of colorfully painted craft picks.

    4 – 6

    Ostrich Eggshell Mosaic

    In Namibia, ostrich eggshells are broken and used in many contemporary art forms. The shapes are often sanded or painted This lesson plan uses small pieces of wood and cardstock to closely resemble the thick shell pieces.

    K – 12

    Textile Painting with Mayco Colors

    "Students use unconventional “tools” such as lace and yarn to create new textures and designs."

    2 – 8

    Artist’s Canvas Shoes

    Students will research the painting style of a famous artist of their choice, then design a pair of painted shoes reminiscent of that artist’s design sense and choices of subjects and colors.

    K – 6

    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

    Wish Boxes

    Great for special occasions and gifts, these thought-filled boxes are created by bringing together two art forms: Calligraphy, which means “beautiful writing” and Origami, which translates as “folded paper”.

    3 – 8

    Zany Wire Sculpture

    Students create a freestanding 3-dimensional sculpture using wire and modeled "clay" pieces. An exciting introductory lesson in balance, spatial relationships, color, shape and form.

    K – 6

    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

    Little Black Poetry Book

    The molten-metal texture on the cover provides a rich presentation for the personal treasures that will be written inside. The black pages are a dramatic background for words rendered in metallic marker, gel pen, opaque colored pencils or opaque ink.

    5 – 12

    Shoe Shine

    The use of a very unconventional medium as a classroom exercise in oil painting.

    5 – 12

    Snake Basket

    Baskets can be woven out of almost any material, not just reeds and straw. This basket project is whimsical and freeform,using wire and colorful "snakes" that move randomly throughout the piece. Polymer clay bakes right on the wire, so finished pieces are long-lasting and very durable.

    5 – 12

    Southwest Native American Jewelry

    Native Americans used symbols and motifs with deep cultural significance in making jewelry with clay, turquoise, coral, shell, wood and bone. After Spanish explorers brought silversmithing to Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo artists in the 1800's, Southwest jewelry developed into a distinctive art form.

    7 – 12

    Stained Glass Flowers

    Wonderful, colorful flowers are created with a transparent, flexible paint called “Arti’Stick”. To link with botanical studies, have students study the anatomy of a flower, create and identify its parts.

    3 – 8

    Talking Rocks

    Native Americans in the Southwest left messages on stones that still speak to us today. Some of these pictures were actually carvings called "petroglyphs".This lesson uses air-dry clay to make symbolic drawings on “stone.”

    2 – 5

    Three Prisms

    Math and science create visual forms and establish structure.“Three Prisms” uses equilateral triangles and parallelograms. The shapes are combined and repeated for a sculpture that makes additional equilateral triangles.

    K – 8

    Tie-Dye Shibori Vessel

    The ancient Japanese tradition of textile painting known as Shibori entails many techniques and processes including the gathering, wrapping and binding methods that we call "tie-dye" today. This 2-part lesson involves painting and draping stiffened fabric to create a sculptural piece.

    7 – 12

    Wireform Figure Sculpture

    In this lesson by Amaco, students will select a character in motion, such as a dancer, athlete or fairy, then capture and describe its movements through pose, form and balance. Flexible, easy-to-cut new WireForm™ Rods and WireForm™ mesh sheets make it easy to translate line from a flat design into a three-dimensional space.

    5 – 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

    Water Lily Origami Pop-Up Card

    For greetings, gifts or just for fun, students will enjoy making a pop-up card with a lovely folded water lily tucked inside.

    5 – 8

    Rain Sticks

    Students construct a 3-dimensional form and fill it with rice to make gentle, percussive sounds.

    K – 8

    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

    Pop Charts

    This page offers a few suggestions for creative art projects that support mathematical instruction on chart and graph reading.

    3 – 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

    Letters + Numbers = ART

    A painted book in the style of Robert Indiana. This lesson plan challenges students to choose eight ideas that can be stated with one simple word, then assemble them into a painted book.

    5 – 12

    Melted Crayon Clay Ornaments

    This easy, kid-friendly project creates ornaments that sparkle and shine using Crayola Crayons and Sculpey III oven-bake polymer clay.

    K – 6

    Mythical Beasts

    Students create a character — half human, half animal — write a story and build a paper maché sculpture of their creation.

    5 – 12

    Fingerprint Beads

    Certain people influence our lives in such a way that they leave "fingerprints" behind. These simple beads make great friendship bracelets.

    5 – 8

    Inuit Bear Carving

    The single most represented subject in North American Arctic art and legend is the polar bear. Easy-to-carve foam can be used to resemble soapstone sculptures.

    5 – 8

    Foam Punch

    Punched tin and metal is an old, traditional craft that involves creating holes in metal with sharp tools to form a design. Original designs were abstract patterns. This safe and colorful version is also abstract.

    K – 6

    Free Form Vessel

    Using a balloon and coffee can base, create a sturdy vessel with Sculptamold compound. Finished pieces can be painted and embellished with mosaics and collage matierals.

    5 – 12

    Free-Form Stencil Drawing

    Choose three shapes from a design and build a new composition by repeating and combining these shapes to communicate an idea or story.

    5 – 12

    Glass Mosaic Panels or Tiles

    Students design and make a finished product that involves breaking up their 2D design and adjusting it into a relief.

    5 – 12

    Good Fortune Boxes

    This lesson plan celebrates the Chinese tradition of passing along good fortune or "Fu" to others.

    K – 8

    Faux Fossil Fun

    Experience an archeological dig, right in your own classroom! Students create fossils the way that nature does - by making impressions and filling them

    K – 12

    Curiosity Collage

    Found objects, cutouts, photos and a variety of materials are assembled in a sculptural, three-dimensional collage centered around a personal theme.

    5 – 12

    Decorative Paper Fans

    Listed are colorful samples of simple fans. Discuss the importance of fans and how they were used to keep people comfortable for years.

    K – 6

    Donkey Beads and Bells

    Combining clay beadmaking with basic pinch and coil pot construction, students make a musical piece of art.

    K – 12

    Dug-Out Clay Plaque

    Students transform a thick slab of clay into a 3D plaque.

    7 – 12

    Egyptian Fan

    Ancient Egyptians applied gold leaf onto carved wood panels to tell stories and create opulence and on everyday objects. Follow the process these artists used to carve and gild a fan fit for King Tutankhamen.

    5 – 12

    Stylized Cone Icons

    Using the example of a suspension bridge, students plan and create a sculpture focused on balance, stability and strength. Foamboard with colorful wire provides a blending of aesthetics and function.

    5 – 12

    Bead Writing

    “Write” names and messages by stringing beads on a bendable wire. Hang finished pieces in a window, string on a necklace or around a hat, pin to a bulletin board or display on a piece of matboard as a piece of art.

    5 – 8

    Beyond Beads

    Beads can be made from a variety of materials, including Wonderfoam, chenille stems and Woodsies

    K – 5

    Canvas Screen

    Students use all the elements and principles of design.

    8 – 12

    Cast Handmade Paper

    Handmade paper is beautiful in itself. If you add dimension and shape, it becomes a work of art.

    5 – 12

    Clay Wall Pocket Bird Mask

    Wall pockets have a long history as decorative and functional items. They have been used for years to hold flowers, perfumes and light sources

    5 – 12

    Claymation Metamorphosis

    An introduction to the basics of Claymation and media production using a familiar scientific theme — the metamorphasis of a butterfly.

    5 – 12

    Coil-Built Pueblo Bowl

    Students explore Native American pottery traditions and discover the purpose behind the animal imagery and geometric patterns used to decorate various pottery forms. Students with kiln access will learn how to use underglazes and glazes to transform their bowls into functional ware

    3 – 8

    Float People

    "Marc Chagall, is known for his paintings of floating, dream-like people, animals and objects. Students design “Float People” to display their understanding of colorful imaginary images."

    K – 6

    Gelly Bowls

    Dimensional collage using wire mesh and acrylic gel medium. Develop color, texture and design with paint, photocopies, images, music, text, colorful papers and many different objects inside the transaprent gel. Once dry, the form can be easily manipulated into a bowl.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    Hand Signals

    "Create a fully posable hand to help students learn to communicate in sign language."

    3 – 5

    Lazertran Metal Sculpture

    This process takes any computer image and turns it into a 3-dimensional sculpture.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    Martin Puryear-Inspired Basketry

    Students learn the importance of negative space while creating a non-traditional basket by focusing on it as a sculptural element rather than a functional object. Being a non-representational form, these abstract baskets draw attention to volume and space and redefine what a basket is intended for.

    3 – 12

    One Hundred Sprirts

    This project memorializes heroes and ancestors in fabric. The disciplines of music and dance combine with the visual arts to produce plays and theatrical presentations of the spirit.

    5 – 12

    Painted Locket

    Over the centuries and across many cultures, lockets have been worn as tiny, portable treasure chests. Students paint the front of a mini canvas and use the back to display a small photo or something with meaning and value.

    K – 12
    Special Education

    Paper Dishes

    These papier mâché dishes are an example of utilitarian items that can also be used as décor.

    3 – 8

    Primitive Semi-Flat Dolls

    There is a rich history in dollmaking techniques throughout the centuries. These soft dolls are painted, stuffed and glued together — so the construction is easy and safe.

    4 – 6

    Simple Pate de Verre

    Translated to “glass paste,” the French term Pate de Verre refers to a glass vessel kiln-fired in a mold. This lesson shows how to make a simple one-part mold and glass casting.

    5 – 12

    Sunshine on a Stick

    This project teaches free-form weaving in the round. The sticks are extremely bright and pretty when finished and look great in a vase or potted plant.

    2 – 6

    Wind Catchers

    This step-by-step project from Mayco Colors demonstrates how to make insect-themed Wind Catchers from bisqueware pieces.

    3 – 8

    3D Contour Collage

    Students create a dimensional line drawing out of flexible wire then cover it with assorted papers and tissues for a whimsical, lightweight sculpture.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 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

    American Pie

    A “slice” of American Culture! Students design a clay pie piece piled high with symbols, icons and representations of their favorite things.

    5 – 12

    Animal Masks

    From Mayco Colors, this lesson gives students the opportunity to explore the history and function of masks in various cultures and times. Students will be able to learn and master basic hand building and sculpting techniques using either self-hardening clay or clay requiring kiln firing.

    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

    Arti'Stick Mobile

    Students will study works of stained glass as a one dimensional art form and adapt what they learn to a three dimensional sculpture — a brilliantly-colored transparent mobile.

    2 – 6

    Artist's Canvas Painted Shoes

    Using Tee Juice® Fabric Markers, students design a pair of painted shoes reminiscent of a famous artist's style and choices of subjects and colors.

    K – 6

    Bead Bottles

    Bead bottles are the result of studying Huichol beaded gourds. Their technique can be applied to 3D objects available to students. Hours and hours of dedication are involved in the small bottle art.

    5 – 12

    Bones

    A full skeleton illustrates movement during a wide range of activities. The addition of a background turns this project into a more complete artwork.

    3 – 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

    Castles

    Students will learn how each of the architectural elements of a castle was designed for the purpose of protection and design their own fortress by making a “pop-out” from construction paper.

    3 – 8

    Classroom Chihuly

    Give students an opportunity to enjoy creating random organic forms with color and transparency similar to actual glass.

    Watch the Video

    2 – 12

    Egyptian Relief Sculpture by Amaco

    Students should research hieroglyphs and find a hieroglyphic symbol that has meaning to them. They might choose their initial as a their symbol, or create a figure in the style of an Egyptian Queen or Pharaoh.

    4 – 6

    Tissue Topiary

    Topiary is the art of turning living plants into sculptures that are constantly growing and changing — a form of landscape art. In this project, an art topiary is made of a wire base, green tissue paper and twine. Although this Tissue Topiary will require some initial sculpting, no care will be needed after construction!

    4 – 12

    2009 Totems

    Students create a modern-day totem pole with hand-formed clay animals positioned on a wooden dowel.

    5 – 8

    ATC "Twist" Album

    This simply-constructed book holds up to 20 Artist’s Trading Cards without drilling them or gluing them. Folded paper sleeves hold the cards in place as they rotate or “twist” out into a fan for display. Cards slide easily in and out of the sleeves when needed. Collage, stamp, paint, draw or decorate the matboard cover in any manner to make it personal and unique.

    5 – 12

    Kinetic Dura-Lar Sculpture

    This lesson will attract students to the abstract as they create their own hanging kinetic sculptures from lightweight polyester material.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    click to collapse

    Art History

     

    Grade Level

    NEW! Torn Metal Collage

    Inspired by Byzantine mosaics and tapestries, Austrian artist Gustav Klimt was acclaimed for his gilded paintings. Students use metallic paper to create their own opulent artwork, which is then gently embossed and “antiqued” with tempera.

    3 – 12
    Special Education

    NEW! Black Velvet Mystery Painting

    Applying oil pastels to black rayon fabric makes a striking composition, but when students add UV paint and a black light, the finished paintings really glow.

    K – 12

    NEW! Shibori Kimono

    Experiment with Japanese paper-dyeing techniques using traditional rice papers, then share papers to create simple origami kimonos. The result is a stunning combination of art and culture.

    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!

    5 – 12

    NEW! 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!

    5 – 12

    NEW! 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.

    K – 12

    NEW! 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

    NEW! Wire Art Quilt

    A decorative, sculptural interpretation of the Friendship Quilt. Wire is an amazing art medium — it can be bent to form a variety of lines, shapes, letters, and images, outlining patterns in the way that individual pieces of fabric make up each square in a traditional quilt. Elementary-age students can work easily with chenille stems and colorful plastic-coated wire while older students will create art with soft steel, aluminum, and copper wire

    3 – 12

    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

    Convertible “Canned” Sculpture

    Composition — the way the elements of a piece of art are arranged and relate to each other — can be difficult to grasp. This lesson plan presents an easy, forgiving way to see the effects of composition while using the dimensional works of Frank Stella as an example. The sculpture is assembled with magnets on a metal can so it can be taken apart and rearranged to see how the composition is affected — what works and what doesn’t.

    3 – 12

    Decalcomania: Glue Paint Symmetry Prints

    “Decalcomania” was a techique was used by Surrealists to create impromptu paintings controlled largely by chance. Much like a Rorschach Ink-Blot test, they would search for hidden imagery and develop it into a finished painting. This tidy and highly interactive process uses Glue Paint in a finger painting-style of application — without actually touching it. Looking for hidden images and contour lines in the print will fuel the imagination of a young Surrealist!

    Watch the Video

    K – 12
    Special Education

    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

    The Walls are Watching You!

    Form a whimsical and functional "pocket" to animate a wall. This project combines the wall pocket with a face jug, creating a fun and whimsical (or scary) face pocket out of clay.

    Watch the Video

    2 – 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

    Ancient Bas-Relief Casting

    Create an ancient "carving" using cast paper and blasa foam!

    5 – 12

    Color Field Sketchbook

    Stain painting was a successful technique employed by Color Field artists Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Louis. They poured diluted acrylic color over large canvases to form “veils” of brilliant color. In this lesson, students will first learn a simple process for creating their own drawing pad, then stain and design a canvas cover for it.

    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

    Prairie-Style Stained Glass Clings

    Frank Lloyd Wright referred to his stained glass windows as “light screens” because they interacted with the view behind them, rather than covering or obscuring it. Here, students use geometry and repeating patterns to create a vinyl window cling that incorporates the ideals of Prairie-Style Design.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12

    Sumi-e Resist Painting

    NOTE! The liquid wax used in this lesson plan is now tinted green. Artwork produced using this process will not look like the examples shown. Practice the ancient art of sumi-e painting with a modern twist! Paint with diluted wax resist, then reveal your masterpiece by applying black sumi-e ink over the top. The addition of watercolor gives the painting even more interest.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12

    Mehndi Art Gloves

    Originating in ancient India, Mehndi is the artistic application of designs to the hands and feet. Students can enjoy the practice of Mehndi without staining their skin by creating radial designs in marker while wearing a glove. The sense of touch while creating the design is an important part of the process.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12
    Special Education

    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

    Scrimshaw-Style Yupo Engraving

    As early as 1750, New England whalers passed the time by engraving nautical artwork on bones, tusks, etc. As a means of experiencing this traditional American craft, students can etch into Yupo using scratch tools, then fill the lines with oil pastel.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 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

    Impressionistic Marker Painting

    You won't believe what these markers can do! The juicy, alcohol-based ink reacts with itself or with hand-sanitizer to make painterly drawings on clear plastic film.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 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

    Picasso-Inspired Soft Sculpture

    By looking through the vast array of figurative paintings done by Picasso during his cubist phase, students may find many possibilities for soft sculpture adaptations. Fine art, sculpture and textiles combine to make this eye-catching piece!

    Watch the Video

    K – 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

    Illuminated Initials

    The practice of illumination — decoration of pages with ornate lettering, luminous color and precious metals, was developed during the middle ages when literacy was rare and books were even more so. With this process, students design one of their own initials on reflective board and add transparent color — it appears to glow with reflective light from within.

    3 – 8

    Pop Art Portraits: in the style of Andy Warhol

    Andy Warhol, a key figure in the Pop Art movement, “mass-produced” silk-screened portraits of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. Transferring an image of themselves onto clay and duplicating it several times, students can experiment with color combinations in portraits, just as Warhol did.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    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

    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

    Cubist Portrait Bust

    The first thing children learn when learning to draw a face or a figure is to view each part as a basic shape. This project approaches sculpture in the same way. Using geometric Styrofoam shapes, students build a bust or torso. The finished result resembles a simplified version of something you might have seen from Picasso or one of the other Cubist painters, only in three dimensions. This project is a good introduction to sculpture for young students.

    K – 6

    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

    Chenille Stem Stitchery

    Spanish painter Joan Miró is known for his playful art. Although he was a world renowned artist, his work gives the impression it could have been created by a child. Miró was interested in reducing characters to their simplest forms and using very basic, bright colors. He felt some of the best ideas were inspired by the simplest things. In this project, students attach and weave Chenille Stems onto stitchery canvas to make simple shapes and designs.

    K – 6
    Special Education

    Making Elemental Drawing Materials

    Blick Art Materials was not around to provide art supplies 32,000 years ago, but, somehow, the earliest humans found a way to draw and paint on cave walls using materials made from basic elements all around them. Similar to the Paleolithic era, students will make their own drawing tools by transforming simple materials from the classroom, and then using them to communicate through images.

    K – 12

    No-Fire Nouveau Tiles

    Beginning in the early 1880s, the “Art Nouveau” style flourished in all forms of art. Beautiful pottery was mass-produced during this era, especially in the form of decorative tiles. Tube lining — a technique in which a design outline was created first and then filled in with color — is the definitive look of Art Nouveau. If kiln-glazed ceramics are not an option for your environment, this project is a way to produce glossy, hand-painted tiles that look like the real thing.

    Watch the Video

    K – 8
    10 – 12
    Special Education

    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

    EZ Grout Mosaics

    Students of all ages can mimic mosaic artisans throughout history with these easy tile-making and “grouting” techniques. Clay tiles are glued to a firm backboard and grouted with acrylic paint. This project is safe and simple enough for younger students and those with special needs.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12
    Special Education

    Middle East Reflections

    Geometric patterns occur in rich profusion throughout Islamic Cultures. This lesson is an invitation to look at the history and meaning behind patterns and view the work of a contemporary Iranian artist. Students design and assemble a reflective mosaic pattern using metallic papers on adhesive film. Easy and tidy...no glue!

    K – 12

    Shining Constructivism

    Around the 1920s, a movement in modern art began in Russia as a group of artists began constructing sculpture for an industrialized world. As new technology produced strong, shining surfaces of glass, steel and plastic, Constructivists pioneered the use of modern, mechanical materials in art. This project weaves a variety of classroom-friendly “metals” — papers, foils and wires — into relief and three-dimensional art.

    5 – 12

    Stabile Sculpture

    When one hears the name of Alexander Calder, the picture of kinetic hanging mobiles immediately comes to mind. These were only a portion of Calder’s vast body of work — he also painted and created stationary pieces called “stabiles.” Often, they resembled his mobiles — but without moving parts. In this lesson, students will create a “stabile” using Taskboard — a new, natural, wood-based medium used by architects and 3-D designers to create models.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    Native American Story Necklaces

    One of the many rich crafts produced within the Native American culture is a "fetish," or story necklace, designed to illustrate history and legend with carved creatures representing spirits, animals or ancestors.

    K – 6

    Artists' Stamps

    This lesson plan is designed to celebrate fine artists by honoring them with a "commemorative stamp." This project also introduces students to philately, the study and collection of stamps.

    3 – 6

    Model a Famous Painting in Friendly Plastic

    Students will use Amaco Friendly Plastic to create a likeness of a famous painting or work of art.

    7 – 10

    Modern Figure Sculpture in the style of Alberto Giacometti

    To create the gracefully haunting look of a Giacometti figure, this lesson plan introduces Paverpol™, a unique product that can be used with a variety of materials — textiles, paper, self-hardening clay, paper maché and more — to make sculptures so sturdy that they can be placed outdoors. It's non-toxic, safe for anyone to use and dries so quickly, you can make a sculpture in one day.

    7 – 12

    EZ Encaustics

    EZ Encaustic uses only small amounts of soft decorating wax that may be softened by hand or by using low temperature heat. Also included are instructions for a Painterly Encaustic process, using melted wax.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 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

    Burlap Figures

    Based on the sculpture of Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz, students create a 3-dimensional figure study in fiber.

    Watch the Video

    7 – 12

    Deep Silver

    This lesson plan uses interactive floating layers and windows to create depth within the artwork.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12

    Artist’s Canvas Shoes

    Students will research the painting style of a famous artist of their choice, then design a pair of painted shoes reminiscent of that artist’s design sense and choices of subjects and colors.

    K – 6

    Clay Divisionism

    Neo-Impressionistic artists of the late 1800s developed a pictorial technique in which they placed specific brushstrokes of pure color directly on their canvas instead of mixing colors first on a palette. In this lesson plan, students will create balls of air dry clay and attach them collage-style to a self-adhesive board to recreate the Divisionism approach to painting.

    2 – 6

    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

    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

    Neo Neon

    Classic neon signs are a part of everyday American culture, crossing over lines of economics, geography and heritage. This lesson incorporates the glowing “light painting” impact of neon signage in a clean, neat and easy-to-understand learning experience.

    5 – 8

    On a Starry Night...

    Art history is an excellent discipline to accompany this lesson plan, as students become familiar with masterpieces by various artists. Students will choose an artwork that inspires them from a specifictime, genre or culture, and paint their own version on a cardboard frame.

    3 – 8

    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

    Van Gogh Clay Plaque

    This lesson plan begins by focusing on line and texture as students sculpt a flat slab of clay, defining an impressionistic landscape. Once the clay has dried, students will paint the piece using a palette of colors inspired by Van Gogh.

    5 – 8

    Peter Max-Style Ties

    Introduce students to Pop-Art while creating fun, colorful ties.

    K – 12

    Pop Art Monoprints

    This Lichtenstein-inspired lesson looks at pop culture imagery today and describes it in comic book-style prints using slow-drying waterbased Akua Kolor inks.

    7 – 12

    Letters + Numbers = ART

    A painted book in the style of Robert Indiana. This lesson plan challenges students to choose eight ideas that can be stated with one simple word, then assemble them into a painted book.

    5 – 12

    Impressionist-Style Painted Tile

    Through the study of Impressionist painters and their works students will select their own color palette and design an impressionistic scene reminiscent of those painted in the mid 1800s.

    5 – 12

    Float People

    "Marc Chagall, is known for his paintings of floating, dream-like people, animals and objects. Students design “Float People” to display their understanding of colorful imaginary images."

    K – 6

    Martin Puryear-Inspired Basketry

    Students learn the importance of negative space while creating a non-traditional basket by focusing on it as a sculptural element rather than a functional object. Being a non-representational form, these abstract baskets draw attention to volume and space and redefine what a basket is intended for.

    3 – 12

    Mini Monets

    This project uses pastels; a favored medium of Impressionist artists – drawn onto matte surface Shrink Film. The chalk of the pastels doesn't actually shrink, it simply condenses along with the film to form rich, intense areas of color.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 10

    Pastel Fresco Secco

    "Secco" is the term used for applying color to dry plaster, the manner Da Vinci used in his famed "The Last Supper." Using Plaster of Paris, students create drawings then purposefully add stress fractures.

    Watch the Video

    1 – 12

    Simple Pate de Verre

    Translated to “glass paste,” the French term Pate de Verre refers to a glass vessel kiln-fired in a mold. This lesson shows how to make a simple one-part mold and glass casting.

    5 – 12

    Three Columns

    The architectural style developed by the ancient Greeks has had such an influence on world civilization that it surrounds us still today. This block printing lesson introduces the three orders of Greek columns and challenges students to discover them in famous buildings and the surrounding community.

    6 – 12

    Drawing with Thread

    "Drawing with Thread" is an interpretation of work by Wassily Kandinski in 1913. Kandinski is called the first totally abstract artist. Free flowing water color and line suggests but does not define images.

    K – 8

    Egyptian Relief Sculpture by Amaco

    Students should research hieroglyphs and find a hieroglyphic symbol that has meaning to them. They might choose their initial as a their symbol, or create a figure in the style of an Egyptian Queen or Pharaoh.

    4 – 6

    click to collapse

    Book And Paper Arts

     

    Grade Level

    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.

    8 – 12

    NEW! Matisse Prints du Soleil

    Henri Matisse survived cancer to find a renewed energy and expressionism in artworks he called “scissor paintings.” Inspired by his cut-paper shapes, students can use sunlight or an artificial source to create color-saturated prints on fabric or paper.

    K – 12
    Special Education

    NEW! “Selfies” (exactly where I want to be)

    Creating self portraits is a snap with this easy technique! Facial proportions and features are traced onto clear film, then layered over a background of a student’s own choosing — a location where she or he would most like to take a “selfie.”

    K – 8

    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!

    3 – 12

    NEW! Shibori Kimono

    Experiment with Japanese paper-dyeing techniques using traditional rice papers, then share papers to create simple origami kimonos. The result is a stunning combination of art and culture.

    3 – 12

    NEW! 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!

    3 – 12

    Concentric Kirigami

    A variation on Japanese Origami, Kirigami is created by folding paper and cutting portions away. This surprisingly uncomplicated relief sculpture is assembled with “rings” cut from double-sided sheets of colorful cardstock. The edges of the rings are folded, cut, unfolded, and layered concentrically (placed around the same center point) to make modern-day Kirigami designs.

    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

    Ancient Bas-Relief Casting

    Create an ancient "carving" using cast paper and blasa foam!

    5 – 12

    Accordion Poetry

    Transform a single line of text into a dimensional work of art!

    5 – 12

    Color Field Sketchbook

    Stain painting was a successful technique employed by Color Field artists Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Louis. They poured diluted acrylic color over large canvases to form “veils” of brilliant color. In this lesson, students will first learn a simple process for creating their own drawing pad, then stain and design a canvas cover for it.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12

    White on White Collagraph

    Printmaking — starring textures and shapes! A collagraph printing plate is created on a canvas panel using textures found in the classroom, textured gel mediums, or even textures from nature! After a final coat of gel medium is applied, the plate and paper are run through a printing press.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12

    Eye-Popping Paper Curls

    Quilling is also known as paper filligree, paper rolling, mosaic or paper folding (even though the paper is really curled). In this project, students will try their hand at quilling in a truly sculptural way. By using much larger, thicker strips of paper, the finished product "pops" out in a very optical way. By using black on white, the effect is even further emphasized.

    3 – 12

    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

    Tubular Bowls

    A few simple geometry skills and a little time spent making paper rolls is all that goes into this eye-catching art paper bowl. It's a great way to recycle materials or use up scrap paper, and your students will learn about repeating patterns and design rhythm as they place each tube of paper on a piece of self-adhesive film.

    3 – 12

    Festival Flowers

    The easiest way to make colorful, three-dimensional paper flowers! Even young children will enjoy painting carnation-like blooms and creating full bouquets for Mother’s Day gifts, May Day celebrations, a Cinco de Mayo fiesta or a Hawaiian Luau. Each flower costs just pennies to make. Because the watercolors blend together and form new hues, painting each bloom is a good way to illustrate color mixing.

    K – 8

    Deconstructed Books

    There's more to "deconstructing" a book than just altering the pages. In this project, deconstructing means changing the object from a book to a sculpture. The tools are very basic — scissors, glue, paper punches and a desire to experiment!

    3 – 12
    Special Education

    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

    Metal Magic Journals

    The magic is in the color! Wax Pastels adhere to the slick surface of tooling foil and stay there. Students explore tools and texture plates to create designs in lightweight metal, then, using simple page-binding techniques, assemble a lovely hardcover book to use for notes, sketches, journaling, scrapbooking or photos.

    3 – 8

    Recycled Book Boxes

    Rather than traditional pages, the interior of these “books” will hold objects collected by students. An “art box” book could contain samples of texture, color, form, and line or other examples of design elements or styles. Or a more personalized box “about me” could hold a collection of tiny photos, poems and small keepsakes.

    3 – 12

    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

    Plantable Pulp Cards

    This is a great project for teaching recycling and renewal. Using a plastic stencil and screen, students make a shaped piece of handmade paper from cast-off scraps. Flower and vegetable seeds are added to the pulp. When dry, the rough-textured paper can be decorated with paint or drawing materials and glued to the front of a card. When planting season arrives, place the shape in the soil to make a beautiful garden.

    Watch the Video

    K – 8

    Artists' Stamps

    This lesson plan is designed to celebrate fine artists by honoring them with a "commemorative stamp." This project also introduces students to philately, the study and collection of stamps.

    3 – 6

    The Four Freedoms

    During World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt delivered a State of the Union speech in which he spoke of four basic freedoms he dreamed of being available to everyone in the world. Artist Norman Rockwell interpreted these freedoms in a series of popular paintings published by the Saturday Evening Post in 1943. This lesson plan challenges students to consider the concept of freedom: what it meant to a president, an artist and what it means to them today.

    3 – 6
    8

    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

    Simple Suminagashi Monoprints

    Suminagashi is a process in which Sumi ink is floated on the surface of plain water, then transferred to a sheet of paper. Each monoprint is like a fingerprint — unique and unreproducible.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12
    Special Education

    No-Blender Pulp Painting

    This project is a simple, tidy way to create the look of pulp painting without the mess of a blender or even the use of adhesive. Non-bleeding tissue paper is combined with water and agitated (torn) so that the paper fibers separate and make a rough pulp. Pressing the paper onto an absorbent (canvas) surface causes the fibers to re-bond with one another and, when dry, form a thicker, stronger paper.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12
    Special Education

    Paper Molas

    Molas are the brightly colored applique panels made only in the San Blas region of Panama by the Kuna Indians. Once the paper Molas are completed, have the children discuss their importance to the Kuna Indian women and their culture.

    4 – 6

    Filipino Parol

    In the Philippines, during the Festival of Lights, parol (puh-roll), or star-shaped lanterns, symbolize the victory of light over darkness as well as hope and goodwill. These simple parol are created with natural reed, translucent rice paper and liquid watercolor. Displayed in a window or hanging from a light fixture, they make colorful, festive decorations for any season.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 8

    Paper Dress - Circa 1968

    Students will define a purpose for creating a functional work of art and identify its effectiveness and unique characteristics within a certain cultural and social setting.

    5 – 12

    Origami Village Diorama

    A single, simple origami pattern is used to make multiple buildings. Students study perspective and structure of a village.

    5 – 8

    Painted Accordion Books

    Students recognize that a handmade book is a work of art in itself.

    5 – 12

    Japanese Floating Lanterns

    "Toro Nagashi", the Japanese Festival of Floating Lanterns is a beautiful event involving floating paper lanterns. Using YUPO paper and multiple mediums, students make lanterns for indoor or outdoor use.

    K – 12

    Wish Boxes

    Great for special occasions and gifts, these thought-filled boxes are created by bringing together two art forms: Calligraphy, which means “beautiful writing” and Origami, which translates as “folded paper”.

    3 – 8

    Little Black Poetry Book

    The molten-metal texture on the cover provides a rich presentation for the personal treasures that will be written inside. The black pages are a dramatic background for words rendered in metallic marker, gel pen, opaque colored pencils or opaque ink.

    5 – 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

    Torn Paper Collage Journals

    An easy bookmaking lesson that works across the entire curriculum. Students make books to use as journals or scrapbooks and fill with personnel stories or poetry, sketches or photos.

    3 – 12
    Special Education

    Water Lily Origami Pop-Up Card

    For greetings, gifts or just for fun, students will enjoy making a pop-up card with a lovely folded water lily tucked inside.

    5 – 8

    Repetitive Patterns

    Use two pieces of construction paper, scissors, and glue to explore pattern and repetition.

    3 – 8

    Paper Sampler

    Alphabet samplers were popular during the 19th century and were embroidered on linen or canvas. This lesson plan celebrates the unique qualities of paper available for artists with a version of the sampler made with paper and art techniques.

    5 – 8

    Paper Weaving

    A simple lesson to explore the basic concepts of weaving.

    3 – 8

    Peter Max-Style Ties

    Introduce students to Pop-Art while creating fun, colorful ties.

    K – 12

    Pop Charts

    This page offers a few suggestions for creative art projects that support mathematical instruction on chart and graph reading.

    3 – 8

    Positive & Negative Space

    Minimal resources, great results! This lesson promotes an awareness of shape and space.

    K – 8

    Kente Cloth

    Kente is the name for the beautifully colored, traditional woven fabric of West Africa. Like most African art forms, Kente expresses more than just visual appeal — it represents history, status, religion and social values.

    2 – 5

    Koi Pond

    This interactive torn-paper collage creates pockets for watercolor fish to swim in and may be linked to the study of pond life (science) and Japanese culture.

    2 – 5

    Minimal Animals

    Similar to the Positive and Negative Space activity, this lesson will let the children's imaginations run wild.

    5 – 8

    Minimalist Sculpture

    In order to understand Minimal Art, students must recognize what is absent. These painted chipboard constructions are abstract with a minimum amount of color, value, shape and texture.

    5 – 12

    Handmade Books

    Children will create their own journals, sketchbooks, or scrapbooks with this project.

    K – 12

    Heavy Metal Journals

    Students learn an easy and economical form of metal working.

    8 – 12

    Global Village

    These paper dolls are wonderful to combine with the Global Village Paper. They can easily be turned into old-fashioned paper dolls, displayed in chains and hung. Or create a globe and arrange dolls around the total outside edge.

    K – 5

    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

    Good Fortune Boxes

    This lesson plan celebrates the Chinese tradition of passing along good fortune or "Fu" to others.

    K – 8

    Figurative Slot Sculpture

    This project requires students to work with the same issues confronted by professional sculptors, working in the round, the work being understandable to the viewer, and structural stability.

    5 – 8

    Corrugated Cardboard Silhouettes

    In this lesson, students cut papers into silhouette forms. The unity of shapes stress the principles and elements of design.

    5 – 12

    Corrugated Paper

    Young people are encouraged to be aware of their surroundings and find squares, rectangles, rounds and the hardest triangles in everyday materials

    5 – 8

    Creative Paper Making

    Teach your students how to make paper with this project.

    3 – 8

    Decorative Paper Fans

    Listed are colorful samples of simple fans. Discuss the importance of fans and how they were used to keep people comfortable for years.

    K – 6

    Cast Handmade Paper

    Handmade paper is beautiful in itself. If you add dimension and shape, it becomes a work of art.

    5 – 12

    Paper Dishes

    These papier mâché dishes are an example of utilitarian items that can also be used as décor.

    3 – 8

    Primitive Semi-Flat Dolls

    There is a rich history in dollmaking techniques throughout the centuries. These soft dolls are painted, stuffed and glued together — so the construction is easy and safe.

    4 – 6

    Shoji Screen

    Japanese homes have interior walls that are actually large, movable screens constructed of thin wooden strips and very strong paper — allowing light to shine through. In this lesson plan, three small Shoji screens are created to hang on a wall or stand upright on the floor.

    4 – 6

    3D Contour Collage

    Students create a dimensional line drawing out of flexible wire then cover it with assorted papers and tissues for a whimsical, lightweight sculpture.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    Asian Banners

    Introduce students to calligraphy, ink, folding and dyeing techniques. The end result is a beautiful banner they will be proud to hang up!

    3 – 8

    A.T.C. Artist Trading Cards

    Artist Trading Cards are a fascinating pastime for a great number of professional artists. The cards are always 2½" × 3½", a size that fits into standard baseball card storage sleeves

    K – 7
    Special Education

    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

    Castles

    Students will learn how each of the architectural elements of a castle was designed for the purpose of protection and design their own fortress by making a “pop-out” from construction paper.

    3 – 8

    Marbleized Paper

    Even young students can achieve beautiful results — without the use of chemicals or special materials.

    K – 12

    ATC "Twist" Album

    This simply-constructed book holds up to 20 Artist’s Trading Cards without drilling them or gluing them. Folded paper sleeves hold the cards in place as they rotate or “twist” out into a fan for display. Cards slide easily in and out of the sleeves when needed. Collage, stamp, paint, draw or decorate the matboard cover in any manner to make it personal and unique.

    5 – 12

    click to collapse

    Clay

     

    Grade Level

    NEW! Beastly Bobblehead

    Create a whimsical patterned Bobble Head! The “body” is a clay slab that students texturize by pressing interesting pasta shapes into it. Top with a pinch-pot head — and learn a lesson in balance.

    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! Spoon Skulls

    Sugar Skulls are a folk art tradition from central and southern Mexico, made as part of the Day of the Dead celebration. Students can create and decorate a long-lasting skull from glow-in-the-dark clay pressed into a common tablespoon used as a mold. Add colorful designs with tempera paint or markers and enjoy Dia de Muertos!

    1 – 8

    NEW! 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.

    K – 12

    Flower Garden Tiles

    Easily make flower tiles by carving clay, filling with plaster, and finishing with liquid watercolors.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12

    The Walls are Watching You!

    Form a whimsical and functional "pocket" to animate a wall. This project combines the wall pocket with a face jug, creating a fun and whimsical (or scary) face pocket out of clay.

    Watch the Video

    2 – 12

    Coral Reef Creation

    Brilliantly replicate thousands of years of oceanic evolution in just a few hours. Using clay, paint, and pearlescent mixing medium, along with handmade clay stamps, create a beautiful coral sculpture.

    K – 12

    Textural Glass Slumping

    Create a textured clay mold to use again and again! Carve a design into a slab and bisque fire it. After coating it with kiln wash, this mold can be used many times to impart unique textures to slumped glass pieces.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12

    African Clay Boxes

    By making an animal shaped box out of clay, students honor both the vast diversity of Africa’s animal world, and also create a functional work of art! After choosing a favorite African animal, students will hand build a clay box with lid.

    5 – 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

    Rolly Bowls

    Glazing isn't the only way to create beautiful surfaces! Agateware pottery features swirling marbelized colors and was probably first developed to imitate the qualities of agate, a semiprecious stone with striated patterning. These swirling effects can be created by working with thin slabs of colored clay that has been layered to create patterns. This technique allows for both precise patterns and free, random effects.

    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

    Percussive Pods

    Rattles are the only musical instrument found throughout the world. While their physical forms vary, their uses are very consistent. Many cultures give infants rattles as a toy. In rituals and ceremonies, rattles are used prominently and often believed to possess supernatural powers. Students explore texture and clay construction as they form a rattle inspired by natural shapes: seed pods, shells, gourds, rain-sticks, etc.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12
    Special Education

    Pop Art Portraits: in the style of Andy Warhol

    Andy Warhol, a key figure in the Pop Art movement, “mass-produced” silk-screened portraits of celebrities such as Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. Transferring an image of themselves onto clay and duplicating it several times, students can experiment with color combinations in portraits, just as Warhol did.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    Thematic Clay Picture Frames

    A lesson plan from AMACO®. Students select their favorite photo and design a custom picture frame to display it. After the bisque firing, the picture frames will be painted and decorated using the new AMACO® Teacher's Choice and Teacher's Palette low-fire glazes.

    K – 6

    Navajo-Inspired Bottles - 2 Projects by Mayco® Colors

    Navajo pottery tended towards functional ware and minimalist design and decoration. Pinch, slab and coil construction methods were used to make bowls and bottles, for carrying water and food consumption. In these projects students will use their knowledge of Navajo symbols to create Navajo inspired designs on a clay bottles.

    4 – 8

    Polynesian “Medicine” Sticks

    Polynesia is a large area in the central and southern Pacific Ocean containing more than 1,000 scattered islands. Many of these islands share cultural similarities among the various groups of people who live on them, especially in terms of their mythologies. Stories often include gods or deities that rule nature. In addition to the oral tradition, "god sticks" are made to represent these deities, usually in the form of a human face or figure wrapped in bark cloth or cord.

    3 – 8

    No-Fire Nouveau Tiles

    Beginning in the early 1880s, the “Art Nouveau” style flourished in all forms of art. Beautiful pottery was mass-produced during this era, especially in the form of decorative tiles. Tube lining — a technique in which a design outline was created first and then filled in with color — is the definitive look of Art Nouveau. If kiln-glazed ceramics are not an option for your environment, this project is a way to produce glossy, hand-painted tiles that look like the real thing.

    Watch the Video

    K – 8
    10 – 12
    Special Education

    Wee Puppets

    Exercising the imagination helps children develop problem-solving skills. This lesson incorporates students’ artistic skills to sculpt finger puppets out of clay and to use their imaginations to make up a story for their characters. The stories do not have to be written but can be told freely. Create a theatre in the classroom — a table with a cloth over it makes a great stage for Wee Puppets. This project is a wonderful interactive classroom event.

    K – 6

    EZ Grout Mosaics

    Students of all ages can mimic mosaic artisans throughout history with these easy tile-making and “grouting” techniques. Clay tiles are glued to a firm backboard and grouted with acrylic paint. This project is safe and simple enough for younger students and those with special needs.

    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

    Native American Story Necklaces

    One of the many rich crafts produced within the Native American culture is a "fetish," or story necklace, designed to illustrate history and legend with carved creatures representing spirits, animals or ancestors.

    K – 6

    Forest Dwellings: Toad House

    Students will hand-build dwellings for forest animals and birds, beginning with flat clay slabs and using slump molds (and even a soda can!) to shape the slabs into three dimensional forms. They will use sprig and press molds to texture and embellish their structures to simulate trees, leaves, knot holes and burrows reminiscent of natural habitats found in woodlands.

    4 – 8

    Paper Clay Leaves

    Learn leaf anatomy by recreating the patterns and structure of the original. Because the clay is paper-based, it accepts watercolors, which may be reworked and blended on the surface. Watercolors enhance the veining in the leaves, pulling out their natural characteristics.

    K – 12

    Art Press Tools

    Make your own tools for stamping image impressions, creating raised designs and adding textures to a variety of artworks. They can be pressed into clay prior to firing, polymer clay before baking and air-dry clay while still moist. Tools can also be used for creating patterns in metal foil or making texture rubbings on paper.

    K – 12
    Special Education

    Linoleum Art Press Tools

    Create simple tools that can be pressed into clay, used for embossing, texture rubbing or printmaking. Wonder-Cut Linoleum is 1/4" deep — providing plenty of depth for carving a variety of textures and dimensions and making incredibly detailed impressions.

    5 – 12

    High Low Relief Sculpture

    This High-Low Relief Sculpture is a variation on the popular three-dimensional pin sculpture toy that can be molded into familiar shapes as pressure is applied from underneath. These sculptures will be stationary with a few other variations, as students use their imaginations to create rolling landscapes, faces, flowers or other images out of different lengths of colorfully painted craft picks.

    4 – 6

    Clay Divisionism

    Neo-Impressionistic artists of the late 1800s developed a pictorial technique in which they placed specific brushstrokes of pure color directly on their canvas instead of mixing colors first on a palette. In this lesson plan, students will create balls of air dry clay and attach them collage-style to a self-adhesive board to recreate the Divisionism approach to painting.

    2 – 6

    Zany Wire Sculpture

    Students create a freestanding 3-dimensional sculpture using wire and modeled "clay" pieces. An exciting introductory lesson in balance, spatial relationships, color, shape and form.

    K – 6

    Huichol Clay Painting

    This lesson plan uses intensely colorful, easy-to-use Model Magic air-dry clay in place of yarn to create paintings similar to the art of the Huichol tribe. Students create “strings” of clay and press them together on a rigid surface. to create symbolic images and designs.

    3 – 8

    Neo Neon

    Classic neon signs are a part of everyday American culture, crossing over lines of economics, geography and heritage. This lesson incorporates the glowing “light painting” impact of neon signage in a clean, neat and easy-to-understand learning experience.

    5 – 8

    Snake Basket

    Baskets can be woven out of almost any material, not just reeds and straw. This basket project is whimsical and freeform,using wire and colorful "snakes" that move randomly throughout the piece. Polymer clay bakes right on the wire, so finished pieces are long-lasting and very durable.

    5 – 12

    Southwest Native American Jewelry

    Native Americans used symbols and motifs with deep cultural significance in making jewelry with clay, turquoise, coral, shell, wood and bone. After Spanish explorers brought silversmithing to Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo artists in the 1800's, Southwest jewelry developed into a distinctive art form.

    7 – 12

    Talking Rocks

    Native Americans in the Southwest left messages on stones that still speak to us today. Some of these pictures were actually carvings called "petroglyphs".This lesson uses air-dry clay to make symbolic drawings on “stone.”

    2 – 5

    Van Gogh Clay Plaque

    This lesson plan begins by focusing on line and texture as students sculpt a flat slab of clay, defining an impressionistic landscape. Once the clay has dried, students will paint the piece using a palette of colors inspired by Van Gogh.

    5 – 8

    Leather Shields Native American Wall Hanging

    Students learn to work with leather in the manner of Native American craftsmen.

    K – 6

    Sarcophagus

    Through building a clay box sarcophagus, students develop skills to transfer historical objects into an art form, and discover the application of basic slab formation to a specific form.

    5 – 8

    Melted Crayon Clay Ornaments

    This easy, kid-friendly project creates ornaments that sparkle and shine using Crayola Crayons and Sculpey III oven-bake polymer clay.

    K – 6

    Molded Clay Faces

    The expressive qualities of clay are perfect for creating many different types of face masks, from Mardi Gras glitter to Japanese Kabuki to African ceremonial masks.

    K – 8

    Fingerprint Beads

    Certain people influence our lives in such a way that they leave "fingerprints" behind. These simple beads make great friendship bracelets.

    5 – 8

    Donkey Beads and Bells

    Combining clay beadmaking with basic pinch and coil pot construction, students make a musical piece of art.

    K – 12

    Dug-Out Clay Plaque

    Students transform a thick slab of clay into a 3D plaque.

    7 – 12

    Stylized Cone Icons

    Using the example of a suspension bridge, students plan and create a sculpture focused on balance, stability and strength. Foamboard with colorful wire provides a blending of aesthetics and function.

    5 – 12

    Casting Coins

    Students will observe the artistic expression used in coins of the past and today.

    5 – 12

    Clay Wall Pocket Bird Mask

    Wall pockets have a long history as decorative and functional items. They have been used for years to hold flowers, perfumes and light sources

    5 – 12

    Claymation Metamorphosis

    An introduction to the basics of Claymation and media production using a familiar scientific theme — the metamorphasis of a butterfly.

    5 – 12

    Coil-Built Pueblo Bowl

    Students explore Native American pottery traditions and discover the purpose behind the animal imagery and geometric patterns used to decorate various pottery forms. Students with kiln access will learn how to use underglazes and glazes to transform their bowls into functional ware

    3 – 8

    American Pie

    A “slice” of American Culture! Students design a clay pie piece piled high with symbols, icons and representations of their favorite things.

    5 – 12

    Animal Masks

    From Mayco Colors, this lesson gives students the opportunity to explore the history and function of masks in various cultures and times. Students will be able to learn and master basic hand building and sculpting techniques using either self-hardening clay or clay requiring kiln firing.

    K – 6

    Bones

    A full skeleton illustrates movement during a wide range of activities. The addition of a background turns this project into a more complete artwork.

    3 – 6

    Chinese Ink Painting

    The right tools are essential to a Chinese brush painter. Students will create their own brush holders and ink pots from glazed and fired clay, then learn the basic brush strokes for branches, bamboo leaves.

    5 – 12

    2009 Totems

    Students create a modern-day totem pole with hand-formed clay animals positioned on a wooden dowel.

    5 – 8

    click to collapse

    Collage

     

    Grade Level

    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.

    8 – 12

    NEW! Torn Metal Collage

    Inspired by Byzantine mosaics and tapestries, Austrian artist Gustav Klimt was acclaimed for his gilded paintings. Students use metallic paper to create their own opulent artwork, which is then gently embossed and “antiqued” with tempera.

    3 – 12
    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

    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

    The Secret Life of your Pet!

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

    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

    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

    Peace Windows: in the style of Marc Chagall’s stained glass

    Late in his career, artist Marc Chagall produced a number of paintings in glass with colorful, dream-like images symbolizing peace, love, tolerance and faith. In reality, Marc Chagall’s life was filled with tragic events and the world he lived in was anything but peaceful. In light of this fact, students can begin to understand an artist’s ability to share healing, inspiration and encouragement, using “peace” as a theme.

    Watch the Video

    K – 8
    Special Education

    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

    Middle East Reflections

    Geometric patterns occur in rich profusion throughout Islamic Cultures. This lesson is an invitation to look at the history and meaning behind patterns and view the work of a contemporary Iranian artist. Students design and assemble a reflective mosaic pattern using metallic papers on adhesive film. Easy and tidy...no glue!

    K – 12

    Quilt Block Collage

    What we think of as “quilts” today — pieces of fabric sewn together to form blocks that collectively make a whole — did not become popular until the mid 19th century. Making quilts was a means of “recycling” fabric from clothing that was no longer usable. In this lesson plan, students make a quilt block using paper and glue rather than fabric and stitching. It’s a great way to recycle materials and illustrate a number of design principles — rhythm, pattern, balance and unity.

    3 – 12

    Recycled Book Boxes

    Rather than traditional pages, the interior of these “books” will hold objects collected by students. An “art box” book could contain samples of texture, color, form, and line or other examples of design elements or styles. Or a more personalized box “about me” could hold a collection of tiny photos, poems and small keepsakes.

    3 – 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

    "Rapper" Art

    Collect and recycle product wrappers for a "green" art project worthy of good-citizen attention! Students save and trade wrappers to make a paper background, then choose words and phrases related to their "rapper" collage and cut them from thin foam to create a printing plate. "Rapper" Art is an easy process for making posters, book covers and signs in multiples.

    K – 6

    Tissue Vases from Recycled Containers

    Turn recycled bottles or cups into "frosted glass" vases! This project allows students to work in three-dimensional designs as they build high-relief mini-murals "in the round." Younger students may create simplified and abstract work with white tissue paper and watercolors. Older students may achieve very sophisticated and detailed vases. Materials are quite inexpensive!

    K – 8

    Model a Famous Painting in Friendly Plastic

    Students will use Amaco Friendly Plastic to create a likeness of a famous painting or work of art.

    7 – 10

    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

    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

    Assemblage Art

    In this particular lesson plan, students will look closely at the work of Louise Nevelson, known for her abstract sculptures made from cast-off pieces of wood — actual street “throwaways” — uniformly coated with black or white spray paint. Students will create their own assemblages from wood pieces and other cast-off objects on a panel.

    5 – 12

    Origami Village Diorama

    A single, simple origami pattern is used to make multiple buildings. Students study perspective and structure of a village.

    5 – 8

    Ostrich Eggshell Mosaic

    In Namibia, ostrich eggshells are broken and used in many contemporary art forms. The shapes are often sanded or painted This lesson plan uses small pieces of wood and cardstock to closely resemble the thick shell pieces.

    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

    Sparkle Fish

    Everyone has something unique and wonderful to share with the world, as illustrated in the sparkling story of the “The Rainbow Fish”, by Marcus Pfister. This is a simple and tidy art project with a special surprise for students — what they think are “ugly” scales are revealed to be sparkly, holographic ones!

    K – 5

    Torn Paper Collage Journals

    An easy bookmaking lesson that works across the entire curriculum. Students make books to use as journals or scrapbooks and fill with personnel stories or poetry, sketches or photos.

    3 – 12
    Special Education

    Preserving Flowers and Other Organics in Acrylic

    Recycle garden trimmings by preserving them in acrylic and creating artwork collages with acrylic mediums and paint.

    K – 12

    Koi Pond

    This interactive torn-paper collage creates pockets for watercolor fish to swim in and may be linked to the study of pond life (science) and Japanese culture.

    2 – 5

    Masking Tape Masterpieces

    This simple lesson plan encourages students to create patterns by overlapping and defining lines on a canvas panel, and add dimension by incorporating more canvases or objects.

    K – 12

    Corrugated Cardboard Silhouettes

    In this lesson, students cut papers into silhouette forms. The unity of shapes stress the principles and elements of design.

    5 – 12

    Gelly Bowls

    Dimensional collage using wire mesh and acrylic gel medium. Develop color, texture and design with paint, photocopies, images, music, text, colorful papers and many different objects inside the transaprent gel. Once dry, the form can be easily manipulated into a bowl.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    Lazertran Metal Sculpture

    This process takes any computer image and turns it into a 3-dimensional sculpture.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    Paper Maki-e

    Maki-e translates "sprinkle pictures" – the beautiful art of Japanese lacquerware. To achieve a similar look, cut and glue painted papers to a surface and sprinkle with metallic powdered pigments.

    5 – 12

    3D Contour Collage

    Students create a dimensional line drawing out of flexible wire then cover it with assorted papers and tissues for a whimsical, lightweight sculpture.

    Watch the Video

    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

    A.T.C. Artist Trading Cards

    Artist Trading Cards are a fascinating pastime for a great number of professional artists. The cards are always 2½" × 3½", a size that fits into standard baseball card storage sleeves

    K – 7
    Special Education

    Bones

    A full skeleton illustrates movement during a wide range of activities. The addition of a background turns this project into a more complete artwork.

    3 – 6

    Castles

    Students will learn how each of the architectural elements of a castle was designed for the purpose of protection and design their own fortress by making a “pop-out” from construction paper.

    3 – 8

    ATC "Twist" Album

    This simply-constructed book holds up to 20 Artist’s Trading Cards without drilling them or gluing them. Folded paper sleeves hold the cards in place as they rotate or “twist” out into a fan for display. Cards slide easily in and out of the sleeves when needed. Collage, stamp, paint, draw or decorate the matboard cover in any manner to make it personal and unique.

    5 – 12

    click to collapse

    Crafts

     

    Grade Level

    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!

    5 – 12

    NEW! 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!

    3 – 12

    NEW! 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!

    5 – 12

    NEW! Simple Silk Screen in the Round

    Silk screening is made simple with the use of an embroidery hoop frame and Mod Podge! Simply draw an image on silk screen fabric with a pencil and paint around the outside with Mod Podge. Pull fabric ink though with a squeegee and you're done! Add handpainted details to add even more color.

    2 – 12

    NEW! Spoon Skulls

    Sugar Skulls are a folk art tradition from central and southern Mexico, made as part of the Day of the Dead celebration. Students can create and decorate a long-lasting skull from glow-in-the-dark clay pressed into a common tablespoon used as a mold. Add colorful designs with tempera paint or markers and enjoy Dia de Muertos!

    1 – 8

    NEW! Wire Art Quilt

    A decorative, sculptural interpretation of the Friendship Quilt. Wire is an amazing art medium — it can be bent to form a variety of lines, shapes, letters, and images, outlining patterns in the way that individual pieces of fabric make up each square in a traditional quilt. Elementary-age students can work easily with chenille stems and colorful plastic-coated wire while older students will create art with soft steel, aluminum, and copper wire

    3 – 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

    Block-Print Koinobori

    In Japan, Children's Day on May 5th is heralded by the appearance of flying fish: carp-shaped windsocks known as “Koinobori”. In this lesson, students design a “scale”-shaped block from soft block printing material and apply it repetitively to outdoor-safe fabric that has been cut in the shape of a fish. Add details like eyes, fins, and a tail using metallic and sparkle paint, and the Koinobori is ready to hang and “swim” through the breeze!

    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

    Upcycled "Wild Thing" Mittens

    An outgrown sweater becomes a fun pair of costume mittens! Use a recycled wool sweater, shrink film, and other adornments to create a fun and functional "Wild Thing" mitten.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12

    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

    My Daruma

    A traditional Japanese weighted toy, Daruma always return to an upright position. This project reveals how to weight the bottom of a plastic egg and cover with instant maché to make these symbols of success, determination, and overcoming adversity.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12

    ArtStraw Architecture

    Skyscrapers evolved from the inside out — as steel frames became stronger, windows and walls became lighter, like a “skin.” Students can construct high-rise buildings (or low-rise designs) that are extremely light and open — they're made with paper straws and corrugated plastic joints (no glue required). Imagination grows with the construction — higher and higher!

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    Prairie-Style Stained Glass Clings

    Frank Lloyd Wright referred to his stained glass windows as “light screens” because they interacted with the view behind them, rather than covering or obscuring it. Here, students use geometry and repeating patterns to create a vinyl window cling that incorporates the ideals of Prairie-Style Design.

    Watch the Video

    K – 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

    Eye-Popping Paper Curls

    Quilling is also known as paper filligree, paper rolling, mosaic or paper folding (even though the paper is really curled). In this project, students will try their hand at quilling in a truly sculptural way. By using much larger, thicker strips of paper, the finished product "pops" out in a very optical way. By using black on white, the effect is even further emphasized.

    3 – 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

    Scrimshaw-Style Yupo Engraving

    As early as 1750, New England whalers passed the time by engraving nautical artwork on bones, tusks, etc. As a means of experiencing this traditional American craft, students can etch into Yupo using scratch tools, then fill the lines with oil pastel.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 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

    Picasso-Inspired Soft Sculpture

    By looking through the vast array of figurative paintings done by Picasso during his cubist phase, students may find many possibilities for soft sculpture adaptations. Fine art, sculpture and textiles combine to make this eye-catching piece!

    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

    Egg-stra Easy Watercolor “Crunch”

    Traditionally, eggshell mosaics are made by first dying then positioning each shard individually — a time-consuming and delicate process. This project introduces a new way to crush and color eggshells, creating intricate veining and texture all at once without pre-dying or arranging each fragment. The simple glue-and-paint process and satisfying “crunch!” of breaking eggshells will delight children of all ages and skill levels.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12
    Special Education

    Thematic Clay Picture Frames

    A lesson plan from AMACO®. Students select their favorite photo and design a custom picture frame to display it. After the bisque firing, the picture frames will be painted and decorated using the new AMACO® Teacher's Choice and Teacher's Palette low-fire glazes.

    K – 6

    Pot Holder Quilt

    A great collaborative art project. Each student weaves a colorful pot holder then stitches it with the class pieces for a quilt or wall hanging. The project is bright, colorful and fun. It is also a great exercise in dexterity and cooperation.

    2 – 6

    Tubular Bowls

    A few simple geometry skills and a little time spent making paper rolls is all that goes into this eye-catching art paper bowl. It's a great way to recycle materials or use up scrap paper, and your students will learn about repeating patterns and design rhythm as they place each tube of paper on a piece of self-adhesive film.

    3 – 12

    No-Fire Nouveau Tiles

    Beginning in the early 1880s, the “Art Nouveau” style flourished in all forms of art. Beautiful pottery was mass-produced during this era, especially in the form of decorative tiles. Tube lining — a technique in which a design outline was created first and then filled in with color — is the definitive look of Art Nouveau. If kiln-glazed ceramics are not an option for your environment, this project is a way to produce glossy, hand-painted tiles that look like the real thing.

    Watch the Video

    K – 8
    10 – 12
    Special Education

    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

    Quilt Block Collage

    What we think of as “quilts” today — pieces of fabric sewn together to form blocks that collectively make a whole — did not become popular until the mid 19th century. Making quilts was a means of “recycling” fabric from clothing that was no longer usable. In this lesson plan, students make a quilt block using paper and glue rather than fabric and stitching. It’s a great way to recycle materials and illustrate a number of design principles — rhythm, pattern, balance and unity.

    3 – 12

    Recycled Book Boxes

    Rather than traditional pages, the interior of these “books” will hold objects collected by students. An “art box” book could contain samples of texture, color, form, and line or other examples of design elements or styles. Or a more personalized box “about me” could hold a collection of tiny photos, poems and small keepsakes.

    3 – 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

    Button Bracelets

    Button Bracelets allow children to design a wearable piece of art with lots of color and texture — a new twist on craft bracelets! A leather wristband is used as a base and takes on a very different look when buttons and colorful wire are added.

    3 – 6

    "Diaper Wipe" Diffusion

    This project demonstrates the physical process of osmosis. Water-based markers are diluted by filtering water through an ordinary wet wipe. The flow of the color is slowed and channeled by the presence of oil and alchohol in the wipe, creating random and interesting tie-dye-type patterns. Educational...and really fun to watch!

    K – 5
    Special Education

    Persian and Navajo Rug Bookmarks

    This lesson plan explains two diverse and beautiful style of textiles: Persian carpets and Navajo rugs. Similar colors and geometric shapes are two common elements of both.

    4 – 8

    Tissue Vases from Recycled Containers

    Turn recycled bottles or cups into "frosted glass" vases! This project allows students to work in three-dimensional designs as they build high-relief mini-murals "in the round." Younger students may create simplified and abstract work with white tissue paper and watercolors. Older students may achieve very sophisticated and detailed vases. Materials are quite inexpensive!

    K – 8

    Plantable Pulp Cards

    This is a great project for teaching recycling and renewal. Using a plastic stencil and screen, students make a shaped piece of handmade paper from cast-off scraps. Flower and vegetable seeds are added to the pulp. When dry, the rough-textured paper can be decorated with paint or drawing materials and glued to the front of a card. When planting season arrives, place the shape in the soil to make a beautiful garden.

    Watch the Video

    K – 8

    Model a Famous Painting in Friendly Plastic

    Students will use Amaco Friendly Plastic to create a likeness of a famous painting or work of art.

    7 – 10

    EZ Encaustics

    EZ Encaustic uses only small amounts of soft decorating wax that may be softened by hand or by using low temperature heat. Also included are instructions for a Painterly Encaustic process, using melted wax.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    Fabric Beads

    Fine craft artists today are exploring texture and color in all mediums. The fabric beads in this project encourage experimental use of materials to enhance and enrich traditional techniques.

    5 – 12

    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

    Paper Clay Leaves

    Learn leaf anatomy by recreating the patterns and structure of the original. Because the clay is paper-based, it accepts watercolors, which may be reworked and blended on the surface. Watercolors enhance the veining in the leaves, pulling out their natural characteristics.

    K – 12

    Rex-Lace Appliqué

    The traditional folk craft of straw appliqué — using various shades of dry straw adhered to a rigid surface — has been practiced in many nations. Students can create their own appliqué designs with a very modern medium: bright, vinyl craft lacing — familiar for making lanyards and bracelets — easily cut in pieces and laid side-by-side on an adhesive surface to form colorful designs.

    K – 6

    Glass Fossils

    One means by which fossils are formed is "carbonization". Over time, compression and heat remove the elements from plants and leave a detailed carbon impression behind. Glass fusion can demonstrate this process in just a few hours.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    Filipino Parol

    In the Philippines, during the Festival of Lights, parol (puh-roll), or star-shaped lanterns, symbolize the victory of light over darkness as well as hope and goodwill. These simple parol are created with natural reed, translucent rice paper and liquid watercolor. Displayed in a window or hanging from a light fixture, they make colorful, festive decorations for any season.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 8

    No Sew Molas

    The Kuna culture flourishes today in the San Blas Islands with the vibrant trade of native Molas — brightly colored cotten panels that have been hand-sewn for many decades. Kuna women use both appliqué and reverse appliqué sewing techniques. These easy “no sew” Molas are made with felt and glue, rather than stitching.

    K – 8

    Ostrich Eggshell Mosaic

    In Namibia, ostrich eggshells are broken and used in many contemporary art forms. The shapes are often sanded or painted This lesson plan uses small pieces of wood and cardstock to closely resemble the thick shell pieces.

    K – 12

    Wish Boxes

    Great for special occasions and gifts, these thought-filled boxes are created by bringing together two art forms: Calligraphy, which means “beautiful writing” and Origami, which translates as “folded paper”.

    3 – 8

    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

    Woven Felt Wall Hanging

    The fine art of weaving is explored using acrylic felt. This lesson also offers an opportunity to discuss fabric used for clothing, blankets and other items found in various cultures

    3 – 12

    Little Black Poetry Book

    The molten-metal texture on the cover provides a rich presentation for the personal treasures that will be written inside. The black pages are a dramatic background for words rendered in metallic marker, gel pen, opaque colored pencils or opaque ink.

    5 – 12

    Stained Glass Flowers

    Wonderful, colorful flowers are created with a transparent, flexible paint called “Arti’Stick”. To link with botanical studies, have students study the anatomy of a flower, create and identify its parts.

    3 – 8

    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

    Rain Sticks

    Students construct a 3-dimensional form and fill it with rice to make gentle, percussive sounds.

    K – 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

    Navajo Sand Painting

    This lesson plan will help students relate to and understand a Native American Culture as well as helping them learn geographical directions.

    3 – 8

    Fingerprint Beads

    Certain people influence our lives in such a way that they leave "fingerprints" behind. These simple beads make great friendship bracelets.

    5 – 8

    Bead Writing

    “Write” names and messages by stringing beads on a bendable wire. Hang finished pieces in a window, string on a necklace or around a hat, pin to a bulletin board or display on a piece of matboard as a piece of art.

    5 – 8

    Beyond Beads

    Beads can be made from a variety of materials, including Wonderfoam, chenille stems and Woodsies

    K – 5

    Easy Fabric Batik with Glue

    Explore the beauty of fabric batik without the danger of hot wax or dyes. Simply trace a design onto muslin with washable glue and add brilliant color.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 8

    Martin Puryear-Inspired Basketry

    Students learn the importance of negative space while creating a non-traditional basket by focusing on it as a sculptural element rather than a functional object. Being a non-representational form, these abstract baskets draw attention to volume and space and redefine what a basket is intended for.

    3 – 12

    One Hundred Sprirts

    This project memorializes heroes and ancestors in fabric. The disciplines of music and dance combine with the visual arts to produce plays and theatrical presentations of the spirit.

    5 – 12

    Painted Locket

    Over the centuries and across many cultures, lockets have been worn as tiny, portable treasure chests. Students paint the front of a mini canvas and use the back to display a small photo or something with meaning and value.

    K – 12
    Special Education

    Primitive Semi-Flat Dolls

    There is a rich history in dollmaking techniques throughout the centuries. These soft dolls are painted, stuffed and glued together — so the construction is easy and safe.

    4 – 6

    Shrink Art Mosaics

    Create your own mosaic pieces — any design, shape or color you want them to be! This project combines the fun and excitement of Shrink Film with the fine art of mosaics.

    5 – 12

    Sunshine on a Stick

    This project teaches free-form weaving in the round. The sticks are extremely bright and pretty when finished and look great in a vase or potted plant.

    2 – 6

    Wind Catchers

    This step-by-step project from Mayco Colors demonstrates how to make insect-themed Wind Catchers from bisqueware pieces.

    3 – 8

    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

    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

    Arti'Stick Mobile

    Students will study works of stained glass as a one dimensional art form and adapt what they learn to a three dimensional sculpture — a brilliantly-colored transparent mobile.

    2 – 6

    Artist's Canvas Painted Shoes

    Using Tee Juice® Fabric Markers, students design a pair of painted shoes reminiscent of a famous artist's style and choices of subjects and colors.

    K – 6

    Bead Bottles

    Bead bottles are the result of studying Huichol beaded gourds. Their technique can be applied to 3D objects available to students. Hours and hours of dedication are involved in the small bottle art.

    5 – 12

    click to collapse

    Drawing

     

    Grade Level

    NEW! “Selfies” (exactly where I want to be)

    Creating self portraits is a snap with this easy technique! Facial proportions and features are traced onto clear film, then layered over a background of a student’s own choosing — a location where she or he would most like to take a “selfie.”

    K – 8

    NEW! 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

    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

    Decalcomania: Glue Paint Symmetry Prints

    “Decalcomania” was a techique was used by Surrealists to create impromptu paintings controlled largely by chance. Much like a Rorschach Ink-Blot test, they would search for hidden imagery and develop it into a finished painting. This tidy and highly interactive process uses Glue Paint in a finger painting-style of application — without actually touching it. Looking for hidden images and contour lines in the print will fuel the imagination of a young Surrealist!

    Watch the Video

    K – 12
    Special Education

    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

    Prairie-Style Stained Glass Clings

    Frank Lloyd Wright referred to his stained glass windows as “light screens” because they interacted with the view behind them, rather than covering or obscuring it. Here, students use geometry and repeating patterns to create a vinyl window cling that incorporates the ideals of Prairie-Style Design.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12

    Mehndi Art Gloves

    Originating in ancient India, Mehndi is the artistic application of designs to the hands and feet. Students can enjoy the practice of Mehndi without staining their skin by creating radial designs in marker while wearing a glove. The sense of touch while creating the design is an important part of the process.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12
    Special Education

    Changing Faces

    With this fun project, facial features become puzzle pieces that can be changed over and over again. It's a light and humorous way to examine the endless variety found in human faces and skin tones.

    K – 8

    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

    Impressionistic Marker Painting

    You won't believe what these markers can do! The juicy, alcohol-based ink reacts with itself or with hand-sanitizer to make painterly drawings on clear plastic film.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12

    Graffiti Fun Art

    Encourage students to design a personal and stylized signature or “tag.” The tag can be a given name, a nickname or something they’ve made up to represent themselves. This school version of graffiti shows students that lettering is not only important in communicating, but that it can also be an artistic expression.

    1 – 6

    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

    Making Elemental Drawing Materials

    Blick Art Materials was not around to provide art supplies 32,000 years ago, but, somehow, the earliest humans found a way to draw and paint on cave walls using materials made from basic elements all around them. Similar to the Paleolithic era, students will make their own drawing tools by transforming simple materials from the classroom, and then using them to communicate through images.

    K – 12

    Persian and Navajo Rug Bookmarks

    This lesson plan explains two diverse and beautiful style of textiles: Persian carpets and Navajo rugs. Similar colors and geometric shapes are two common elements of both.

    4 – 8

    Photo Tinting

    Turn a black and white photo into a "riot" of color! Tinting is a simple technique that challenges students of all ages to pay attention to detail, and even young children can do it with success. In this project, class pictures are enlarged, printed in black-and-white and tinted. The use of non-traditional colors is encouraged.

    K – 6

    Souper Art

    This is a whimsical introduction to nutrition and graphic design that invites students to make up an imaginary soup. National studies indicate that children eat about anything if the advertising is "crazy" or attractive to them, including vitamins and vegetables. Now its students' turn to entice peers to "buy" their soup! Anyone for Alligator Soup?

    K – 6

    Artists' Stamps

    This lesson plan is designed to celebrate fine artists by honoring them with a "commemorative stamp." This project also introduces students to philately, the study and collection of stamps.

    3 – 6

    The Four Freedoms

    During World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt delivered a State of the Union speech in which he spoke of four basic freedoms he dreamed of being available to everyone in the world. Artist Norman Rockwell interpreted these freedoms in a series of popular paintings published by the Saturday Evening Post in 1943. This lesson plan challenges students to consider the concept of freedom: what it meant to a president, an artist and what it means to them today.

    3 – 6
    8

    Illuminated Text

    Illumination is the decorating of books or manuscripts with ornate lettering, scrollwork, icons and images. This lesson plan introduces an easy and inexpensive way to apply metal leaf to a single letter, then embellish it using colored pencils.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    Bas Relief Paintings

    Students will design and sculpt a dimensional piece of artwork, creating a variety of textures, lines and depths.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    Deep Silver

    This lesson plan uses interactive floating layers and windows to create depth within the artwork.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12

    Stencil City

    Stencil City is a place that only exists on paper. It is created by cutting stencils in shapes of buildings and then using them to create areas of color against a black background. The end result is a nightglow cityscape.

    2 – 8

    Texture Critters

    Oaxacan woodcarvings of animals are decorated with whimsical color and loaded with all-over designs. This project lets students explore simple shapes and textures by drawing an outline shape of an animal then filling it in with as many textures and patterns as they can think of.

    2 – 8

    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

    Rubbings from Relief Sculpture

    The rubbings in this lesson plan are made with images foound in cemeteries, embellished with patterns from texture plates. Plan the art activity as a field trip or as homework with parental guidance.

    K – 6

    Pastel Glue Pictures

    Students learn a nontraditional art process with this project.

    K – 12

    Pixel Drawings

    Students create computer mosaic drawings with magazine illustrations, or photos emphasizing changing shades and tones using the total image or a section of it.

    7 – 12

    Manga & Me

    Gives students just starting in cartooning an opportunity to study Manga.

    5 – 8

    Hand-Colored History

    Students will easily connect with historical studies of their own community or family history.

    5 – 12

    Free-Form Stencil Drawing

    Choose three shapes from a design and build a new composition by repeating and combining these shapes to communicate an idea or story.

    5 – 12

    Gouache and Wood-Burned Designs

    Discover wood burning craft techniques and the traditional paint medium of gouache.

    3 – 12

    Graph Paper Patterns

    Adaptable for almost any age level, the basis for this lesson is very simple: define a space and fill it with a repetition of color, line and shape to make what we define as a Pattern.

    3 – 8

    Faux Stained Glass Lanterns

    Examples of intricately-designed stained glass can be found around the world: from gothic and medieval cathedral glass, to the art of Louis Tiffany and John La Farge. This project creates the look of stained glass in a simple process using Scratch-Art® Clear-Scratch™ film and permanent Sharpie® markers.

    3 – 8

    Figurative Slot Sculpture

    This project requires students to work with the same issues confronted by professional sculptors, working in the round, the work being understandable to the viewer, and structural stability.

    5 – 8

    Flip Flop Drawing

    A drawing becomes a painting, then flips back to a drawing again as students use variety to explore surfaces, media and techniques.

    5 – 12

    Float People

    "Marc Chagall, is known for his paintings of floating, dream-like people, animals and objects. Students design “Float People” to display their understanding of colorful imaginary images."

    K – 6

    Home Town Map

    As they create maps of their route between their homes and their schools, students learn about distance, signs, symbols, landmarks and safety.

    K – 6

    Mini Monets

    This project uses pastels; a favored medium of Impressionist artists – drawn onto matte surface Shrink Film. The chalk of the pastels doesn't actually shrink, it simply condenses along with the film to form rich, intense areas of color.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 10

    Monoprinting with Watercolor Markers

    A simple project that introduces students to printing.

    1 – 8
    Special Education

    Pastel Fresco Secco

    "Secco" is the term used for applying color to dry plaster, the manner Da Vinci used in his famed "The Last Supper." Using Plaster of Paris, students create drawings then purposefully add stress fractures.

    Watch the Video

    1 – 12

    Shoji Screen

    Japanese homes have interior walls that are actually large, movable screens constructed of thin wooden strips and very strong paper — allowing light to shine through. In this lesson plan, three small Shoji screens are created to hang on a wall or stand upright on the floor.

    4 – 6

    Ultimate Paisley Patterns

    First seen in Persian fabric design, the signature floral kidney and tear shapes of Paisley prints are a great lesson in pattern and rhythm. French curves and colored pencils are used to draw colorful versions on construction paper.

    3 – 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

    Artist's Canvas Painted Shoes

    Using Tee Juice® Fabric Markers, students design a pair of painted shoes reminiscent of a famous artist's style and choices of subjects and colors.

    K – 6

    A.T.C. Artist Trading Cards

    Artist Trading Cards are a fascinating pastime for a great number of professional artists. The cards are always 2½" × 3½", a size that fits into standard baseball card storage sleeves

    K – 7
    Special Education

    Bread Spread

    This lesson will spark students’ creativity as they use an unconventionalmaterial — French bread — to enhance their pastel paintings

    K – 6

    Carnival Scratch Art Mask

    Explore the history of carnival masks from various cultures. Ornate and colorful masks are easy to create with Scratch Art Film and permanent markers.

    K – 8

    Checkerboard

    In this project, students will use simple geometry tools to make lines and circular shapes, then define a pattern within the boundaries of the overlapping shapes using the repetition of two colors. This is a good, easy introduction to the elements of line, pattern and shape.

    5 – 8

    click to collapse

    Fiber Art

     

    Grade Level

    NEW! Simple Silk Screen in the Round

    Silk screening is made simple with the use of an embroidery hoop frame and Mod Podge! Simply draw an image on silk screen fabric with a pencil and paint around the outside with Mod Podge. Pull fabric ink though with a squeegee and you're done! Add handpainted details to add even more color.

    2 – 12

    Block-Print Koinobori

    In Japan, Children's Day on May 5th is heralded by the appearance of flying fish: carp-shaped windsocks known as “Koinobori”. In this lesson, students design a “scale”-shaped block from soft block printing material and apply it repetitively to outdoor-safe fabric that has been cut in the shape of a fish. Add details like eyes, fins, and a tail using metallic and sparkle paint, and the Koinobori is ready to hang and “swim” through the breeze!

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12

    Upcycled "Wild Thing" Mittens

    An outgrown sweater becomes a fun pair of costume mittens! Use a recycled wool sweater, shrink film, and other adornments to create a fun and functional "Wild Thing" mitten.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12

    Muslin Masterpiece

    Create a beautiful textile design using dye sticks and block printing.

    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

    “Nesting” with Wool

    Roll up a felted masterpiece! Students easily create beautiful wool paintings using soap, water, and a little elbow grease.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12

    Sheepish Composition

    This lesson plan introduces wool roving, which is the raw, washed wool from the sheep that is then dyed a variety of beautiful colors. The wool strands will be used to "paint" onto a canvas of felt. The wool is very easily "felted" or punched into the background with a felting needle.

    K – 12

    String Painting

    Inspired by Huichol Nierikas — beautiful paintings made from yarn pressed onto beeswax — this is a simple way for students to experience the color, geometric linework and symbolism of this Native American art form. Using colorful string applied to an adhesive-backed piece of felt, students create their designs without messy glue or sharp cutting tools.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12

    Picasso-Inspired Soft Sculpture

    By looking through the vast array of figurative paintings done by Picasso during his cubist phase, students may find many possibilities for soft sculpture adaptations. Fine art, sculpture and textiles combine to make this eye-catching piece!

    Watch the Video

    K – 12

    “Print & Go” T-Shirts

    Printing creative T-shirts and fabrics doesn’t always require stencils and screens — students can easily design their own giant stamps and paint them any way they want. Even if each shirt displays the same message, each will be a completely unique work of art! This process is perfect for group settings — schools, camps, daycare centers, clubs, family reunions and special events — but it is also ideal for countless home decorating and craft projects.

    K – 8
    Special Education

    Pot Holder Quilt

    A great collaborative art project. Each student weaves a colorful pot holder then stitches it with the class pieces for a quilt or wall hanging. The project is bright, colorful and fun. It is also a great exercise in dexterity and cooperation.

    2 – 6

    Painted “Silk” Shapes

    The production and commerce of decorated silk fabrics began thousands of years ago in China. This project introduces fine-mesh polyester as a silk-like fabric for painting. Form a wire shape as a support and paint with transparent liquid acrylic color. Finished pieces are flexible and may be heat-set for outdoor display.

    3 – 12

    Altered Penny Carpet

    In the 1800s, many homes were decorated with “Penny Carpets”, made from miss-matched fabric cut into circles by tracing around a penny. Patches were then layered and stitched together to make a large piece. Students create a Penny Carpet with fabric that they design themselves using monoprinting techniques and fabric paint. Each section is sewed to felt swatches, then joined to make a larger piece of art.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 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

    Fabric Beads

    Fine craft artists today are exploring texture and color in all mediums. The fabric beads in this project encourage experimental use of materials to enhance and enrich traditional techniques.

    5 – 12

    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

    Burlap Figures

    Based on the sculpture of Polish artist Magdalena Abakanowicz, students create a 3-dimensional figure study in fiber.

    Watch the Video

    7 – 12

    No Sew Molas

    The Kuna culture flourishes today in the San Blas Islands with the vibrant trade of native Molas — brightly colored cotten panels that have been hand-sewn for many decades. Kuna women use both appliqué and reverse appliqué sewing techniques. These easy “no sew” Molas are made with felt and glue, rather than stitching.

    K – 8

    Woven Felt Wall Hanging

    The fine art of weaving is explored using acrylic felt. This lesson also offers an opportunity to discuss fabric used for clothing, blankets and other items found in various cultures

    3 – 12

    Silk Suncatchers

    The natural translucent quality of silk paired with transparent paints rivals the glow of stained glass when held up to the sun. This is an easy way to teach introductory silk paintin.

    7 – 12

    Tie-Dye Guitar T-Shirt

    This outrageously fun guitar design can be created in 1-1/2 to 2 hours from start to the end of the dyeing process.

    7 – 12

    Tie-Dye Shibori Vessel

    The ancient Japanese tradition of textile painting known as Shibori entails many techniques and processes including the gathering, wrapping and binding methods that we call "tie-dye" today. This 2-part lesson involves painting and draping stiffened fabric to create a sculptural piece.

    7 – 12

    Personal Flags

    Personal flags are expressions of a student's own life in symbols and serve as a link between the student and his or her environment.

    K – 6

    Native American Burlap Weaving

    Students will learn about Native American craft art, basketry, rugs, clothes. These crafts were decorative as well as utilitarian, made for everyday use and also for ceremonial use. Students will also learn the use of symmetrical designs in Native American art.

    3 – 6

    Nature Print Silk Suncatchers

    This project is a great way to teach color mixing and will easily link with social studies disciplines following Asian cultures (Japanese and Chinese silk painting) and also with science, as botanical studies.

    3 – 8

    Huichol Yarn Painting

    Students learn to apply yarn painting techniques in combining their ideas and their art.

    K – 8

    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

    Felt Bags

    This lesson incorporates classroom-friendly acrylic felt and basic sewing/assemblage skills that can be adjusted for various age levels.

    3 – 8

    Burlap Weaving

    The coarse, open weave of burlap substitutes for a weaving loom in this fiber art project.

    5 – 12

    Easy Fabric Batik with Glue

    Explore the beauty of fabric batik without the danger of hot wax or dyes. Simply trace a design onto muslin with washable glue and add brilliant color.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 8

    Hand Signals

    "Create a fully posable hand to help students learn to communicate in sign language."

    3 – 5

    One Hundred Sprirts

    This project memorializes heroes and ancestors in fabric. The disciplines of music and dance combine with the visual arts to produce plays and theatrical presentations of the spirit.

    5 – 12

    Ribbon Weave

    "Paper, paint and ribbon are used to develop a pattern with contrasting textures and colors."

    K – 6

    Aloha Shirts

    Create Hawaiian-inspired shirts with brightly-colored flowers, leaves, and fish by printing them using fabric paints. "Gyotaku" - the Japanese word for "fish print"- is a fun and exciting way to give shirts an island beach look.

    5 – 8

    Artist's Canvas Painted Shoes

    Using Tee Juice® Fabric Markers, students design a pair of painted shoes reminiscent of a famous artist's style and choices of subjects and colors.

    K – 6

    Drawing with Thread

    "Drawing with Thread" is an interpretation of work by Wassily Kandinski in 1913. Kandinski is called the first totally abstract artist. Free flowing water color and line suggests but does not define images.

    K – 8

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    Graphic And Digital Art

     

    Grade Level

    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

    On the Wall Motifs

    Students select a commercial business and consider images, symbols and colors that will best represent the company. The repeated “wallpaper” patterns are made with a stamp designed and carved by the students. This fun project will help children understand how simple images communicate a message, whether in business or elsewhere.

    4 – 6

    Photo Tinting

    Turn a black and white photo into a "riot" of color! Tinting is a simple technique that challenges students of all ages to pay attention to detail, and even young children can do it with success. In this project, class pictures are enlarged, printed in black-and-white and tinted. The use of non-traditional colors is encouraged.

    K – 6

    Souper Art

    This is a whimsical introduction to nutrition and graphic design that invites students to make up an imaginary soup. National studies indicate that children eat about anything if the advertising is "crazy" or attractive to them, including vitamins and vegetables. Now its students' turn to entice peers to "buy" their soup! Anyone for Alligator Soup?

    K – 6

    Claymation Metamorphosis

    An introduction to the basics of Claymation and media production using a familiar scientific theme — the metamorphasis of a butterfly.

    5 – 12

    Lazertran Metal Sculpture

    This process takes any computer image and turns it into a 3-dimensional sculpture.

    Watch the Video

    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

    click to collapse

    Maskmaking

     

    Grade Level

    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

    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

    Twisteez Masks

    Students create a colorful, expressive mask by weaving Twisteez Wires on a screen.

    5 – 12

    Mardi-Gras Mask

    Create unique and dazzling masks with an exciting Mardi Gras sparkle!

    5 – 12

    Clay Wall Pocket Bird Mask

    Wall pockets have a long history as decorative and functional items. They have been used for years to hold flowers, perfumes and light sources

    5 – 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

    Carnival Scratch Art Mask

    Explore the history of carnival masks from various cultures. Ornate and colorful masks are easy to create with Scratch Art Film and permanent markers.

    K – 8

    click to collapse

    Metal And Wire Art

     

    Grade Level

    NEW! “Mama” Spider Sculptures

    Created as an ode to her mother, one of the largest sculptures in the world is Louise Bourgeois’ “Maman.” — a bronze spider that stands 30 feet tall. These wire and tissue versions assume natural, and sometimes even creepy, poses!

    3 – 12

    NEW! 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!

    5 – 12

    NEW! 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.

    K – 12

    NEW! Wire Art Quilt

    A decorative, sculptural interpretation of the Friendship Quilt. Wire is an amazing art medium — it can be bent to form a variety of lines, shapes, letters, and images, outlining patterns in the way that individual pieces of fabric make up each square in a traditional quilt. Elementary-age students can work easily with chenille stems and colorful plastic-coated wire while older students will create art with soft steel, aluminum, and copper wire

    3 – 12

    Dancing Houses

    Part cartoonist and part Picasso, the art of Brooklyn-born James Rizzi is highly recognizable. His playful, brilliant images created a style he described as “Urban Primitive.” Students will enjoy making a classroom cityscape of fun and fabulous construction paper buildings. A simple wire armature beneath allows the structure to be playfully positioned -— almost as if it were dancing. This project provides a lesson in movement as design principle.

    Watch the Video

    K – 9

    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

    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

    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

    Chenille Stem Stitchery

    Spanish painter Joan Miró is known for his playful art. Although he was a world renowned artist, his work gives the impression it could have been created by a child. Miró was interested in reducing characters to their simplest forms and using very basic, bright colors. He felt some of the best ideas were inspired by the simplest things. In this project, students attach and weave Chenille Stems onto stitchery canvas to make simple shapes and designs.

    K – 6
    Special Education

    Painted “Silk” Shapes

    The production and commerce of decorated silk fabrics began thousands of years ago in China. This project introduces fine-mesh polyester as a silk-like fabric for painting. Form a wire shape as a support and paint with transparent liquid acrylic color. Finished pieces are flexible and may be heat-set for outdoor display.

    3 – 12

    Metal Magic Journals

    The magic is in the color! Wax Pastels adhere to the slick surface of tooling foil and stay there. Students explore tools and texture plates to create designs in lightweight metal, then, using simple page-binding techniques, assemble a lovely hardcover book to use for notes, sketches, journaling, scrapbooking or photos.

    3 – 8

    Shining Constructivism

    Around the 1920s, a movement in modern art began in Russia as a group of artists began constructing sculpture for an industrialized world. As new technology produced strong, shining surfaces of glass, steel and plastic, Constructivists pioneered the use of modern, mechanical materials in art. This project weaves a variety of classroom-friendly “metals” — papers, foils and wires — into relief and three-dimensional art.

    5 – 12

    Modern Figure Sculpture in the style of Alberto Giacometti

    To create the gracefully haunting look of a Giacometti figure, this lesson plan introduces Paverpol™, a unique product that can be used with a variety of materials — textiles, paper, self-hardening clay, paper maché and more — to make sculptures so sturdy that they can be placed outdoors. It's non-toxic, safe for anyone to use and dries so quickly, you can make a sculpture in one day.

    7 – 12

    Flexible "Glass" Sculpture

    Using flexible, translucent acrylic paint and soft, aluminum wire, students create abstract sculptures that can be formed and reformed. Addresses the design elements of form and shape. Displayed with a light source, they have the appearance of formed glass.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    Textured Metal Boxes

    This lesson plan combines the processes of repoussé and chasing to design a piece that looks as if it may have been crafted by an ancient silversmith. Objects are fixed to a cardboard box before the metal is applied so that the design is embossed into the metal in the style of repoussé. With tools, students then chase the metal around the objects to further define the texture.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12

    Quilted Foil

    Students learn the functionality of tooled metal and texture.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    Jive Foil Puppets

    Many cultures create puppets for entertainment and story telling. These jointed "jive" puppets make a light, musical sound as they dance and move on a hand-held rod.

    5 – 12

    Zany Wire Sculpture

    Students create a freestanding 3-dimensional sculpture using wire and modeled "clay" pieces. An exciting introductory lesson in balance, spatial relationships, color, shape and form.

    K – 6

    Snake Basket

    Baskets can be woven out of almost any material, not just reeds and straw. This basket project is whimsical and freeform,using wire and colorful "snakes" that move randomly throughout the piece. Polymer clay bakes right on the wire, so finished pieces are long-lasting and very durable.

    5 – 12

    Twisteez Masks

    Students create a colorful, expressive mask by weaving Twisteez Wires on a screen.

    5 – 12

    Wireform Figure Sculpture

    In this lesson by Amaco, students will select a character in motion, such as a dancer, athlete or fairy, then capture and describe its movements through pose, form and balance. Flexible, easy-to-cut new WireForm™ Rods and WireForm™ mesh sheets make it easy to translate line from a flat design into a three-dimensional space.

    5 – 12

    Metal Foil Drawings

    The experience of drawing on a lightweight foil is a wonderful exercise for young children and children with special needs.

    K – 6

    Heavy Metal Journals

    Students learn an easy and economical form of metal working.

    8 – 12

    Bead Writing

    “Write” names and messages by stringing beads on a bendable wire. Hang finished pieces in a window, string on a necklace or around a hat, pin to a bulletin board or display on a piece of matboard as a piece of art.

    5 – 8

    Burlap Weaving

    The coarse, open weave of burlap substitutes for a weaving loom in this fiber art project.

    5 – 12

    Hand Signals

    "Create a fully posable hand to help students learn to communicate in sign language."

    3 – 5

    Lazertran Metal Sculpture

    This process takes any computer image and turns it into a 3-dimensional sculpture.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    Sunshine on a Stick

    This project teaches free-form weaving in the round. The sticks are extremely bright and pretty when finished and look great in a vase or potted plant.

    2 – 6

    3D Contour Collage

    Students create a dimensional line drawing out of flexible wire then cover it with assorted papers and tissues for a whimsical, lightweight sculpture.

    Watch the Video

    5 – 12

    Arti'Stick Mobile

    Students will study works of stained glass as a one dimensional art form and adapt what they learn to a three dimensional sculpture — a brilliantly-colored transparent mobile.

    2 – 6

    Tissue Topiary

    Topiary is the art of turning living plants into sculptures that are constantly growing and changing — a form of landscape art. In this project, an art topiary is made of a wire base, green tissue paper and twine. Although this Tissue Topiary will require some initial sculpting, no care will be needed after construction!

    4 – 12

    click to collapse

    Mixed Media

     

    Grade Level

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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!

    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!

    5 – 12

    NEW! 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!

    3 – 12

    NEW! 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!

    5 – 12

    NEW! 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

    NEW! 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.

    K – 12

    NEW! 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

    Multicultural

     

    Grade Level

    NEW! Shibori Kimono

    Experiment with Japanese paper-dyeing techniques using traditional rice papers, then share papers to create simple origami kimonos. The result is a stunning combination of art and culture.

    3 – 12

    NEW! Spoon Skulls

    Sugar Skulls are a folk art tradition from central and southern Mexico, made as part of the Day of the Dead celebration. Students can create and decorate a long-lasting skull from glow-in-the-dark clay pressed into a common tablespoon used as a mold. Add colorful designs with tempera paint or markers and enjoy Dia de Muertos!

    1 – 8

    NEW! 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

    Block-Print Koinobori

    In Japan, Children's Day on May 5th is heralded by the appearance of flying fish: carp-shaped windsocks known as “Koinobori”. In this lesson, students design a “scale”-shaped block from soft block printing material and apply it repetitively to outdoor-safe fabric that has been cut in the shape of a fish. Add details like eyes, fins, and a tail using metallic and sparkle paint, and the Koinobori is ready to hang and “swim” through the breeze!

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12

    Concentric Kirigami

    A variation on Japanese Origami, Kirigami is created by folding paper and cutting portions away. This surprisingly uncomplicated relief sculpture is assembled with “rings” cut from double-sided sheets of colorful cardstock. The edges of the rings are folded, cut, unfolded, and layered concentrically (placed around the same center point) to make modern-day Kirigami designs.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 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

    My Daruma

    A traditional Japanese weighted toy, Daruma always return to an upright position. This project reveals how to weight the bottom of a plastic egg and cover with instant maché to make these symbols of success, determination, and overcoming adversity.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 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

    Sumi-e Resist Painting

    NOTE! The liquid wax used in this lesson plan is now tinted green. Artwork produced using this process will not look like the examples shown. Practice the ancient art of sumi-e painting with a modern twist! Paint with diluted wax resist, then reveal your masterpiece by applying black sumi-e ink over the top. The addition of watercolor gives the painting even more interest.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12

    Mehndi Art Gloves

    Originating in ancient India, Mehndi is the artistic application of designs to the hands and feet. Students can enjoy the practice of Mehndi without staining their skin by creating radial designs in marker while wearing a glove. The sense of touch while creating the design is an important part of the process.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12
    Special Education

    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

    String Painting

    Inspired by Huichol Nierikas — beautiful paintings made from yarn pressed onto beeswax — this is a simple way for students to experience the color, geometric linework and symbolism of this Native American art form. Using colorful string applied to an adhesive-backed piece of felt, students create their designs without messy glue or sharp cutting tools.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12

    Tibetan Wishing Banner

    Tibetan wish or prayer flags traditionally are used to promote peace, compassion, strength and wisdom. Tibetans do not believe that the flags carry prayers to the gods, but rather that their messages and wishes will be blown by the wind to spread goodwill and compassion into all-pervading space. In this project, students will use a liquid wax resist that will be painted onto silk rectangles and need not be removed. Vibrant color and a final gold embellishment finish the piece.

    2 – 12

    Egg-stra Easy Watercolor “Crunch”

    Traditionally, eggshell mosaics are made by first dying then positioning each shard individually — a time-consuming and delicate process. This project introduces a new way to crush and color eggshells, creating intricate veining and texture all at once without pre-dying or arranging each fragment. The simple glue-and-paint process and satisfying “crunch!” of breaking eggshells will delight children of all ages and skill levels.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12
    Special Education

    Navajo-Inspired Bottles - 2 Projects by Mayco® Colors

    Navajo pottery tended towards functional ware and minimalist design and decoration. Pinch, slab and coil construction methods were used to make bowls and bottles, for carrying water and food consumption. In these projects students will use their knowledge of Navajo symbols to create Navajo inspired designs on a clay bottles.

    4 – 8

    Polynesian “Medicine” Sticks

    Polynesia is a large area in the central and southern Pacific Ocean containing more than 1,000 scattered islands. Many of these islands share cultural similarities among the various groups of people who live on them, especially in terms of their mythologies. Stories often include gods or deities that rule nature. In addition to the oral tradition, "god sticks" are made to represent these deities, usually in the form of a human face or figure wrapped in bark cloth or cord.

    3 – 8

    Itajime Decorative Paper

    Itajime Shibori is a technique for folding, clamping and dyeing paper or fabric resulting in beautiful designs – very similar to tie-dye. The folds and clamps keep the dye or ink from penetrating fully in certain areas making patterns and giving a dimensional appearance on a flat surface. This project is a great way to teach students the scientific concept of diffusion and color mixing.

    3 – 12

    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

    Painted “Silk” Shapes

    The production and commerce of decorated silk fabrics began thousands of years ago in China. This project introduces fine-mesh polyester as a silk-like fabric for painting. Form a wire shape as a support and paint with transparent liquid acrylic color. Finished pieces are flexible and may be heat-set for outdoor display.

    3 – 12

    Middle East Reflections

    Geometric patterns occur in rich profusion throughout Islamic Cultures. This lesson is an invitation to look at the history and meaning behind patterns and view the work of a contemporary Iranian artist. Students design and assemble a reflective mosaic pattern using metallic papers on adhesive film. Easy and tidy...no glue!

    K – 12

    Native American Story Necklaces

    One of the many rich crafts produced within the Native American culture is a "fetish," or story necklace, designed to illustrate history and legend with carved creatures representing spirits, animals or ancestors.

    K – 6

    Persian and Navajo Rug Bookmarks

    This lesson plan explains two diverse and beautiful style of textiles: Persian carpets and Navajo rugs. Similar colors and geometric shapes are two common elements of both.

    4 – 8

    Simple Suminagashi Monoprints

    Suminagashi is a process in which Sumi ink is floated on the surface of plain water, then transferred to a sheet of paper. Each monoprint is like a fingerprint — unique and unreproducible.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12
    Special Education

    Filipino Parol

    In the Philippines, during the Festival of Lights, parol (puh-roll), or star-shaped lanterns, symbolize the victory of light over darkness as well as hope and goodwill. These simple parol are created with natural reed, translucent rice paper and liquid watercolor. Displayed in a window or hanging from a light fixture, they make colorful, festive decorations for any season.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 8

    No Sew Molas

    The Kuna culture flourishes today in the San Blas Islands with the vibrant trade of native Molas — brightly colored cotten panels that have been hand-sewn for many decades. Kuna women use both appliqué and reverse appliqué sewing techniques. These easy “no sew” Molas are made with felt and glue, rather than stitching.

    K – 8

    Ostrich Eggshell Mosaic

    In Namibia, ostrich eggshells are broken and used in many contemporary art forms. The shapes are often sanded or painted This lesson plan uses small pieces of wood and cardstock to closely resemble the thick shell pieces.

    K – 12

    Huichol Clay Painting

    This lesson plan uses intensely colorful, easy-to-use Model Magic air-dry clay in place of yarn to create paintings similar to the art of the Huichol tribe. Students create “strings” of clay and press them together on a rigid surface. to create symbolic images and designs.

    3 – 8

    Southwest Native American Jewelry

    Native Americans used symbols and motifs with deep cultural significance in making jewelry with clay, turquoise, coral, shell, wood and bone. After Spanish explorers brought silversmithing to Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo artists in the 1800's, Southwest jewelry developed into a distinctive art form.

    7 – 12

    Talking Rocks

    Native Americans in the Southwest left messages on stones that still speak to us today. Some of these pictures were actually carvings called "petroglyphs".This lesson uses air-dry clay to make symbolic drawings on “stone.”

    2 – 5

    Texture Critters

    Oaxacan woodcarvings of animals are decorated with whimsical color and loaded with all-over designs. This project lets students explore simple shapes and textures by drawing an outline shape of an animal then filling it in with as many textures and patterns as they can think of.

    2 – 8

    Tie-Dye Shibori Vessel

    The ancient Japanese tradition of textile painting known as Shibori entails many techniques and processes including the gathering, wrapping and binding methods that we call "tie-dye" today. This 2-part lesson involves painting and draping stiffened fabric to create a sculptural piece.

    7 – 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

    Decorative Paper Fans

    Listed are colorful samples of simple fans. Discuss the importance of fans and how they were used to keep people comfortable for years.

    K – 6

    Donkey Beads and Bells

    Combining clay beadmaking with basic pinch and coil pot construction, students make a musical piece of art.

    K – 12

    Egyptian Fan

    Ancient Egyptians applied gold leaf onto carved wood panels to tell stories and create opulence and on everyday objects. Follow the process these artists used to carve and gild a fan fit for King Tutankhamen.

    5 – 12

    Canvas Screen

    Students use all the elements and principles of design.

    8 – 12

    Coil-Built Pueblo Bowl

    Students explore Native American pottery traditions and discover the purpose behind the animal imagery and geometric patterns used to decorate various pottery forms. Students with kiln access will learn how to use underglazes and glazes to transform their bowls into functional ware

    3 – 8

    Easy Fabric Batik with Glue

    Explore the beauty of fabric batik without the danger of hot wax or dyes. Simply trace a design onto muslin with washable glue and add brilliant color.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 8

    Paper Maki-e

    Maki-e translates "sprinkle pictures" – the beautiful art of Japanese lacquerware. To achieve a similar look, cut and glue painted papers to a surface and sprinkle with metallic powdered pigments.

    5 – 12

    Shoji Screen

    Japanese homes have interior walls that are actually large, movable screens constructed of thin wooden strips and very strong paper — allowing light to shine through. In this lesson plan, three small Shoji screens are created to hang on a wall or stand upright on the floor.

    4 – 6

    Ultimate Paisley Patterns

    First seen in Persian fabric design, the signature floral kidney and tear shapes of Paisley prints are a great lesson in pattern and rhythm. French curves and colored pencils are used to draw colorful versions on construction paper.

    3 – 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

    Asian Banners

    Introduce students to calligraphy, ink, folding and dyeing techniques. The end result is a beautiful banner they will be proud to hang up!

    3 – 8

    Carnival Scratch Art Mask

    Explore the history of carnival masks from various cultures. Ornate and colorful masks are easy to create with Scratch Art Film and permanent markers.

    K – 8

    Chinese Ink Painting

    The right tools are essential to a Chinese brush painter. Students will create their own brush holders and ink pots from glazed and fired clay, then learn the basic brush strokes for branches, bamboo leaves.

    5 – 12

    2009 Totems

    Students create a modern-day totem pole with hand-formed clay animals positioned on a wooden dowel.

    5 – 8

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    Painting

     

    Grade Level

    NEW! Matisse Prints du Soleil

    Henri Matisse survived cancer to find a renewed energy and expressionism in artworks he called “scissor paintings.” Inspired by his cut-paper shapes, students can use sunlight or an artificial source to create color-saturated prints on fabric or paper.

    K – 12
    Special Education

    NEW! “Selfies” (exactly where I want to be)

    Creating self portraits is a snap with this easy technique! Facial proportions and features are traced onto clear film, then layered over a background of a student’s own choosing — a location where she or he would most like to take a “selfie.”

    K – 8

    NEW! Beastly Bobblehead

    Create a whimsical patterned Bobble Head! The “body” is a clay slab that students texturize by pressing interesting pasta shapes into it. Top with a pinch-pot head — and learn a lesson in balance.

    3 – 12

    NEW! Black Velvet Mystery Painting

    Applying oil pastels to black rayon fabric makes a striking composition, but when students add UV paint and a black light, the finished paintings really glow.

    K – 12

    NEW! Shibori Kimono

    Experiment with Japanese paper-dyeing techniques using traditional rice papers, then share papers to create simple origami kimonos. The result is a stunning combination of art and culture.

    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! 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!

    3 – 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

    Block-Print Koinobori

    In Japan, Children's Day on May 5th is heralded by the appearance of flying fish: carp-shaped windsocks known as “Koinobori”. In this lesson, students design a “scale”-shaped block from soft block printing material and apply it repetitively to outdoor-safe fabric that has been cut in the shape of a fish. Add details like eyes, fins, and a tail using metallic and sparkle paint, and the Koinobori is ready to hang and “swim” through the breeze!

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12

    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

    Convertible “Canned” Sculpture

    Composition — the way the elements of a piece of art are arranged and relate to each other — can be difficult to grasp. This lesson plan presents an easy, forgiving way to see the effects of composition while using the dimensional works of Frank Stella as an example. The sculpture is assembled with magnets on a metal can so it can be taken apart and rearranged to see how the composition is affected — what works and what doesn’t.

    3 – 12

    Flower Garden Tiles

    Easily make flower tiles by carving clay, filling with plaster, and finishing with liquid watercolors.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12

    Dancing Houses

    Part cartoonist and part Picasso, the art of Brooklyn-born James Rizzi is highly recognizable. His playful, brilliant images created a style he described as “Urban Primitive.” Students will enjoy making a classroom cityscape of fun and fabulous construction paper buildings. A simple wire armature beneath allows the structure to be playfully positioned -— almost as if it were dancing. This project provides a lesson in movement as design principle.

    Watch the Video

    K – 9

    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

    My Daruma

    A traditional Japanese weighted toy, Daruma always return to an upright position. This project reveals how to weight the bottom of a plastic egg and cover with instant maché to make these symbols of success, determination, and overcoming adversity.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 12

    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

    Color Field Sketchbook

    Stain painting was a successful technique employed by Color Field artists Helen Frankenthaler and Morris Louis. They poured diluted acrylic color over large canvases to form “veils” of brilliant color. In this lesson, students will first learn a simple process for creating their own drawing pad, then stain and design a canvas cover for it.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 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

    Sumi-e Resist Painting

    NOTE! The liquid wax used in this lesson plan is now tinted green. Artwork produced using this process will not look like the examples shown. Practice the ancient art of sumi-e painting with a modern twist! Paint with diluted wax resist, then reveal your masterpiece by applying black sumi-e ink over the top. The addition of watercolor gives the painting even more interest.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12

    Have a Ball! with distorted self-portraits

    Observing and reproducing the distortion caused by a concave reflection is the topic of this lesson plan, as students make self-portraits inspired by M.C. Escher's “Hand with Reflecting Globe.” The canvas is a vinyl bouncing ball. Elementary ages can be challenged to create a continuous painting — with no beginning or end — then “Have a Ball!” playing with their own artwork.

    Watch the Video

    K – 12
    Special Education

    Tibetan Wishing Banner

    Tibetan wish or prayer flags traditionally are used to promote peace, compassion, strength and wisdom. Tibetans do not believe that the flags carry prayers to the gods, but rather that their messages and wishes will be blown by the wind to spread goodwill and compassion into all-pervading space. In this project, students will use a liquid wax resist that will be painted onto silk rectangles and need not be removed. Vibrant color and a final gold embellishment finish the piece.

    2 – 12

    WonderFoam Collagraph Prints

    WonderFoam is familiar to almost everyone who has ever presented a craft project to children — but, if you'd like to move beyond the "foamies" to a real art technique, incorporate WonderFoam into printmaking! “Collagraph” is a process in which materials are arranged collage-style on a rigid surface, coated with tempera paint and then transferred to paper. Students learn to make repeating patterns with shapes.

    K – 6
    Special Education

    Impressionistic Marker Painting

    You won't believe what these markers can do! The juicy, alcohol-based ink reacts with itself or with hand-sanitizer to make painterly drawings on clear plastic film.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 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

    Monotype Hoop-La

    Functioning as both a painting and a print, a Monotype is unique and irreproducible. The “hoop-la” over Monotype can be experienced in your classroom with this simplified, safely water-based process using acrylic paint, printing foam and fabric. The technique builds the print a layer at a time and tools are used to remove or “subtract” color between layers. Stretch the finished print ona gold macramé ring for an instant frame.

    Watch the Video

    3 – 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 f