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Pencil Stencils

Lesson plan provided by School Specialty
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Lesson Plan
Grades PreK-1
Early Childhood, Art, Literacy, Fine Motor, Science


Improve fine motor skills and pencil grasp.

Supplies Needed

Shapes and objects suitable for tracing

Learning Standards

Scientifi c Knowledge & Skills: Collect and record information.
Literacy Knowledge & Skills: Experiment with writing tools and materials.
Physical Development (Fine Motor): Manipulate writing, drawing and art tools.


Cut out shapes from heavy cardboard or gather plastic shapes, blocks, tangrams etc.


Step 1

Demonstrate how to "take a picture" of an object by placing it on a piece of paper and drawing around it with a pencil.

Step 2

Provide children with a variety of objects or shapes.

Step 3

Provide paper and pencils for each child.

Step 4

Ask children to draw the object by placing it on their paper and drawing around it with their pencil touching each side.

Step 5

When children remove the object, they will see an outline. They may want to color or add details with markers or crayons orrepeat the stenciled design.

Teacher Tips

Once children have been introduced to the process of tracing a stencil, this activity can become part of a classroom learning center. Change objects throughout the year to fi t a classroom theme, investigation or seasonal celebration (Hearts, shamrocks, tools, etc.).
Extend this activity by having children trace a shape on different colored or patterned papers and cut out the shapes. Use shapes to decorate for a classroom celebration, hang on strings for a mobile or paste on contrasting paper as a collage.

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