This art exploration activity is perfect for the first week of school or the beginning of an art unit. It introduces students to the elements of art and the concept of mixed-media while giving teachers the opportunity to observe students fine-motor and social skills.
For this lesson, students rotate through four or more art media centers to create two compositions with no required outcome. Because there is no specific subject matter goal, students are able to explore freely with art tools and materials.
Through exploration with crayons, stencils, colored pencils, construction paper collage, watercolor paints, or other chosen media, students gather basic information about the possibilities and limitations of each specific media used in the activity.
This lesson includes the following:
- list of art concepts and skills addressed
- national visual arts standards information
- a list of materials needed
- targeted art and related vocabulary
- suggestion for related read aloud by Peter Reynolds
- detailed steps for introducing the lesson
- tips for setting up the centers and doing the rotations
- directions for art-making
- ideas for extending or varying the lesson
- ideas for looking at and discussing student art
- suggestions for writing extensions
- a page of tips for station materials and kid-watching
- a page of student work samples for reference
- an art reflection worksheet with self-assessment / art analysis prompts
This comprehensive art lesson is designed to teach art appreciation, artist behavior, and art analysis.
National Core Visual Arts Standards are listed at the beginning of the lesson.
Because I teach in California, this lesson also includes a list of the California Visual Arts Standards addressed for suggested grade levels. Please note that listed grade levels are suggestions only; any of these lessons can be simplified or made more complex to work for any elementary grade.
********** PLEASE NOTE *********
This lesson is bundled with four other lessons in Start With Art
For more art-making ideas and suggestions:
Integrating Art Across the Curriculum Sampler Bundle
- a collection of five integrated Art lessons
Making Time For Art
-- a free download
Art Task Cards
-- for early finishers or art centers
I am a retired elementary classroom teacher, a former art teacher, an artist and a writer. I have a Multiple Subjects credential, a Single Subject credential for Art and English, LDS/ESL certification, a Master’s Degree in Elementary Education with a Mathematics focus, and Montessori certification. I have worked with all elementary grades, and with special groups including ELL, GATE, and At-Risk students. Creating Art With Kids
lessons and resources are designed to foster student creativity, choice, and independence, and to encourage authentic art-making. Consideration is given to developmental appropriateness, differentiation possibilities, and teacher individuality. For this reason, directions are general, expectations are open-ended, and clip art on student pages is kept to a minimum.
Visit my blog, Creating Art With Kids,
for detailed descriptions and helpful tips about the teaching process for many of my art lessons.
Other ways to connect with me:
Facebook: Creating Art With Kids
Pinterest: Renee Goularte
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