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Stencil City Lesson Plan

Lesson Plans

Stencil City is a place that only exists on paper. It is created by cutting stencils in the shapes of buildings, then using the stencils to create areas of color against a black background.


A stencil is used to cover an area in a work of art so that whatever medium is being used will not be applied to the area covered by the stencil.


Grade Levels

Grades 6 through 8.


Time Required

One class period (45 - 60 minutes).


Lesson Objectives

To develop and promote an awareness of shape, space, color, and how simple stencils and block outs are used. Students will create an original visual image using colored chalk, pastel or oil pastel, and simple stencils.



  1. On the sheet of white paper, sketch a series of rectangles that resemble buildings.
  2. Cut along the sketched line. There will be two pieces of paper with similar shapes. These will be used as the stencils.
  3. Place one of the stencils along the bottom of the black paper and hold it in place.
  4. Using colored chalk, pastel, or oil pastel, color over the stencil onto the black paper.
  5. Move the stencil upwards on the paper, change the color and repeat the process. Reverse the stencil for different shapes or use the other stencil.
  6. Continue the process, overlapping, continually monitoring the image as it is created. The city will take shape and details can be added after the stencil shapes have been established.



Each finished project should conform to the basic process of the lesson. Stencils should be cut to form the shapes of, or suggestions of, buildings. Color should be added to emphasize the use of stencils. Students should be able to discuss the use of stencils and blockouts in the creation of a work of art.


Extended Lesson

The images can be as simple or as complex as the age level of the students will allow. Stencil City can be a lively place with many different activities. Some buildings have lights on, while others are dark. Background color can be changed to affect the mood or time of day. The resulting visual images are challenging and stimulate the imagination of students.


Stencil City Lesson Plan



1. 9" × 12" sheets of black and white construction paper.

Black Construction Paper

2. Scissors.


3. Colored chalk or pastels.




Info and Ideas  >  2003 Lesson Plans

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