Lesson Plans to Support National Core Art Standards
A Great Art Lesson Starts with a Great Plan
Art education helps develop skills, like critical thinking and collaboration, that serve students well in the classroom and in life. That's why Sax® stepped forward over 25 years ago as a leading provider of free lesson plans, to help make art education attainable to all. This year, you'll find 20 incredible new lesson plans here, all adaptable to any skill level and supporting cross-curricular teaching.
Throughout history, handmade ceramic tiles have served as decorative and functional elements in, and on, buildings. Tiles made of clay were widely used in Roman and Middle Eastern cultures as architectural elements. They were not only glazed, but often had parts raised, lowered, or carved into the tile surface. This is called "relief" sculpture. In this lesson, students will create a handmade relief ceramic tile.
A Pop-Up is described as a self-erecting, three dimensional structure formed by the action of opening a crease. The most common forms of pop-ups found today are mostly in greeting cards and children's books. This lesson will use construction paper to turn a flat 2-dimensional sheet of paper into a three dimensional structure by folding, cutting, gluing and inserting the pop-up structure into an accordion fold strip. In addition, explore the work of famous paper engineers and pop-up artists such as; Robert Sabuda, Matthew Reinhart, and Ron van der Meer.
In modern visual art, mixed media is an artwork in which more than one medium or material has been employed. In this lesson, students will conceptualize and execute a collage by using a myriad of Crayola products to give the artwork the best possible outcome. A 'Skyline' theme from their own personal experiences and surroundings will lend itself perfectly for the mixed media approach.
Using Fredrix Gold Metallic Cut Edge Canvas, provides a shimmering metallic-colored ground that will be used with water mixable, transparent oil colors to create a luminous effect for a painting. In this lesson, students will also learn the painting technique of 'Glazing' with oil paint to show off the gold colored ground. Opaque white Gesso will also be incorporated in their paintings to create Impasto surfaces to add texture and visual weight to the work.
Whether it's called a residence, a lodging, or a habitat - if it has a roof and a way inside, the craftsmanship and expertise of designing houses has been an artist's and architect's creative playground ever since early man left caves. This lesson uses textured clay slabs joined together in the creation of structures for the living in both real and imaginary settings.
In this lesson students will use a wide variety of fun two- and three-dimensional materials to create an underwater environment while focusing strongly on elements and principles of design. The combination of material elements in the piece allows students to create artwork with a strong sense of movement, pattern, texture, space, and contrast, as well as other elements and principles.
The art of Printmaking is traditionally about producing "editions" - multiple exact copies of the same print. But this aspect of creating multiples can also be used to create unique pieces as well, the parts of which are the repetitive images that can create rhythm and movement to a single composition. Also, these individual visual "units" can comprise the elements of installations and sculptural arrangements. We'll review artists such as Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol who used this notion extensively in some of their most famous works.
This lesson is designed to inspire the imagination. Using Elmer's Glow-in-the-Dark Glue and decorative patterning, students will create a monster that can live above their bed instead of below it. Glue will be used as the primary medium to make the monster, which can then be peeled off and mounted. To accent the piece, the mounting board will be decorated with detailed patterns.
In this lesson, students will draw a "Fortress of Strength" emphasizing various textures such as stone, brick, wood, and metal. These visual surface qualities give the Fortress a sense of permanence. Students with fine motor challenges may find it difficult to grasp traditional drawing and painting tools or draw finely detailed textures to create drawings. The plan provides adaptations for students with physical challenges to more independently use art tools to create their personal "Fortress of Strength".
It's defined simply as "pigments suspended in a water-based solution", yet, the art technique of watercolor painting has an extraordinary ability to visually express the effects of shifting light and color - and has engaged painters for centuries. One of the advantages of watercolor is its immediacy - It invites a direct and spontaneous response to a subject. Watercolor has the capacity to convey excitement with speed and economy of line.
This lesson uses a variety of tactile materials to create textured multimedia animal habitats. The paper mesh used in this project can be painted, drawn, sewn on and cut to specific shapes. The lesson also uses diffusing paper which highlights the use of liquid watercolors. Nature stencils can be used on the mesh and/or on the diffusing paper to create the desired habitat.
Prior to the invention of photography, botanical illustration was the only way of visually recording the world's many species of plant life. Observe the botanical illustrations of Alice R. Tangerini in order to study the art of line drawing and its clarity. Students will draw a live plant and transfer the drawing to black coated aluminum foil, applying the Repousse process on the foil. Lastly, they'll color their work with Sharpie Permanent Metallic Markers.
The traditional function of a mat is to provide the viewer a piece of artwork surrounded by a neutral space. For this project, students will use the borders of a mat as a platform for annotation - an opportunity to provide additional visual reference to the very work itself. As a historical reference to a similar approach, consider Medieval sacred texts, often referred to as illuminated manuscripts. (Book of Kells, Lindisfarne Gospels and especially the later Book of Hours of John, Duke of Berry).
Mayco plaster slump and hump molds are an easy way to create functional ware. This lesson uses plaster molds that fit together. Mayco designer texture mats allow the student to texture both sides of a slab of clay at one time. Be sure to never wash plaster molds as they will take weeks to dry. Dry them with a cloth.
Box making utilizes the ancient Japanese practice of folding paper called Origami. Origami is more than just a visual art form, it is also a modern practice that inspires the minds of scientists and engineers to think outside the box. This lesson incorporates creative design and thoughtfulness and is used to teach students that applying origami techniques can lead to making paper prototypes by translating them into other materials.
Trying to understand and execute an abstract work of art without context can be difficult. When teaching students the difference between "concrete" and "abstract", it's important to start with the concrete (real) and then move towards the abstract (nonrealistic). Although this is not a true abstract art lesson, it is a way for students to be selective in terms of creating a work of art - with the end result being a composition that appears to be an abstract work of art.
Patterns are a fundamental concept in both art and Mathematics. Math plays a key roll in determining proportion, symmetry and shape of the pattern. Students will create graphic patterns using a pencil, ruler and cross - section paper. The final design will be traced on a light box, using a Staedtler Black Pigment Liner. Staedtler Ergo Soft Colored and Watercolor pencils will be used to enhance the final pattern.
This lesson demonstrates a non-traditional approach to Plein Air (french for "open air") oil painting by using water-mixable oil paint inside a classroom setting. This approach allows the art teacher to show students how to create an oil painting through traditional color mixing and drying without the use of harsh chemicals or solvents. This is accomplished by using Winsor & Newton Artisan Water-Mixable Oil Colors which appear and perform just like conventional oil colors.
Students will use Das Junior Air-Hardening Clay, textured plates and metallic paints to create a striking woven piece. This lesson allows students to strengthen their hand building skills and focus on creating complementary contrasts of color and texture. Creating the consistent length, width and depth of the woven strips brings in math elements.
Acrylic paint is a polymer-based paint that has changed our approach to painting. It is one of the most versatile mediums. In this lesson plan, students will explore different types of painting techniques by experimenting with Sax® True Flow® Premium Heavy-Bodied Acrylics. They will create a sampler with the very viscose and heavily pigmented paint.