Category Archives: Lesson

5th Graders Express Themselves!

After our Rembrandt vs. Rouault debates, in which students were teamed up to defend an artist, students created their own expressive portraits in the style of Rouault.  Each student began by creating a web that shared emotions they feel and reasons behind them.  Then, they chose a feeling and communicated it in their portrait through physical expression, oil pastel technique and color choice.

What emotion do you think these students are trying to show?

Artwork above by: Drew N., Shane B., Peyton W. and Quinn K.

Find this project and more in our online gallery at Artsonia!


Using Shapes to Create in Kindergarten

I’ve always enjoyed using Eric Carle as inspiration for this lesson, not only because the kids are familiar with him, but his illustration style makes it so easy to build from drawing shapes to creating larger objects (in this case, animals) with them.

Students practiced identifying, tracing, drawing, coloring and cutting basic geometric shapes.  Then, we looked at several works by Eric Carle (like the one below) and tried to figure out what shapes Eric Carle used to create it. 

Click here to see the bats and horses that we made in the style of Eric Carle!  Here is Mason’s horse:

Here are the steps we followed:
1.  Paint paper with a variety of painting tools.
2.  As a class, vote on the animal we will each create.
3.  Draw the shape needed on the back of the painted paper.
4.  Carefully cut out the shape.
5.  Carefully glue the shape in its place.
6.  Repeat drawing, cutting and gluing until animal is complete.
7.  Add minimal detail with crayon.


Gettin’ Real with 4th Grade

Fourth graders recently had a lesson to focus on drawing from observation.  They did several activities to challenge them to draw what they see and not what they THINK they see.  Students concluded this lesson by drawing a simple still life of objects from our room.  Click here to view our Artsonia gallery of still life drawings.  (Artwork above by Addison H.)

After the lesson, I shared some Photorealistic works with them.  They, like me, were in awe of what some of these artists are able to do with paint!

Shape Madness with Matisse


First graders learned about three groups of shapes: geometric, free-form and organic.  We looked at several works by artist Henri Matisse and found examples of each of these kind of shapes.  What do you see?

Then, students thought of a time or place where there may be a lot of action.  They created abstract works of art using all three types of shapes.  Click here to see our Artsonia gallery of the Matisse project.  Here are a few examples by Ava, Eliza and Maya.  Can you figure out what may be happening in these images?

Color Studies in Grade 1

First graders learned that red, yellow and blue are the primary colors.  They also learned that these colors are special because you cannot make them, but they can be used to make all the other colors on the color wheel!

Inspired by Kandinsky’s color studies (above), students created their own color study dots.   We created 5 dots: a primary dot, a secondary dot, a “how to make purple” dot, a “how to make orange” dot and a “how to make green” dot.  Click here to see all works from Mrs. Decker’s class at our Artsonia gallery page.  Here are two examples from Amelia and Lilah.