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At Blick, we love those "light bulb" moments when an idea inspires and the creative juices start to flow.

Geared for a wide variety of age and skill levels, we offer hundreds of Lesson Plans designed to meet the National Standards for Visual Art Education and bring the value of creativity to any teaching experience.

All original. All free. Help yourself!

Click here to download our new Spring 2014 Lesson Plans Booklet

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Sumi-e Resist Painting
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MOST RECENT

Grade Level

“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

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.

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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.”

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3 – 12

Ancient Bas-Relief Casting

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

5 – 12

Burroughs on Burlap

Printmaking on burlap results in a beaufitul rusticity.

3 – 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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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5 – 12

“Nesting” with Wool

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

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K – 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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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

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

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

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.

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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

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

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.

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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.

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5 – 12

Sole Pendants

In this project, students explore the beauty of texture found in a surprising place... on the soles of their shoes! Texture is all around us, and oftentimes exists right under our noses.

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K – 3

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.

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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

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

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

Mr. Blacks’s Dog House

This beginning project introduces early elementary students to basic clay construction skills. Employing both fine and gross motor skills, students assign a unique personality to their pet, then bisque fire and add the definition of spots and color with glazes.

K – 3

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

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

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.

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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

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

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.

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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.

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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

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

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