This no-prep art lesson introduces the concept of negative space. Students use common objects as tracing templates to create an interesting design using rotations and overlapping shapes. It is a great lesson to leave for substitutes, with directions that are easy to follow.
The lesson can be extended to address visual texture, rhythm and movement in a composition, and a little basic color theory. By substituting paint for crayon, students can also incorporate color-mixing and blending.
Use this lesson when you need a filler. It can be started with the whole class read aloud, introduction of vocabulary, and object tracing, and then can be finished at students’ own pace.
What's That Shape? is bundled with four other lessons in 5 Super Easy Art Lessons
This lesson includes the following:
- a list of art concepts and skills addressed
- a list of materials needed
- targeted art and related vocabulary
- detailed steps for introducing the lesson
- suggestions for related read-aloud books
- directions for the art activity
- ideas for extending or varying the lesson
- ideas for looking at and discussing art
- art extension suggestions
- photographs of student art work for reference
Also included is a challenging drawing extension worksheet offered in two versions with differentiated levels of language support.
This comprehensive art lesson is designed to teach art appreciation, artist behavior, and art analysis, and to foster authentic art-making and art education.
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.
More quick and easy art lessons:
Four Quick Art Lessons
Other Art lessons and Art-integrated resources:
Start With Art
- five exploratory Art lessons with focus on elements of art
Integrating Art Across the Curriculum Sampler Bundle
- five integrated Art lessons
Art Task Cards
- self-directed Art activities 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.
Ways to connect with me:
Blog: Creating Art With Kids
Facebook: Creating Art With Kids
Pinterest: Renee Goularte
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