Dazzling Dinosaurs Art Project

My first grade students absolutely love this lesson. For an art teacher, pulling out chalk pastel is always a bit dicey. You just never know if they’ll get more chalk on their hands than on the art work. I always throw caution to the wind and let ‘em at it. To me, there is nothing more adorable than watching chubby little fingers wade through a cloud of chalk dust. I demonstrate two very simple dinosaurs. Basically, they are drawn the same way, just with the head in different places. Encourage the kids to add spikes, bony plates, horns, etc. Of course, you’ll always get a dino expert in the class who will insist upon proper anatomy details. I usually bring this kid up to the front of the class to explain-away.
Here are a few helpful teaching tips:

  • Draw the dino with a black oil pastel
  • Limit sky to one color
  • Limit ground to one color
  • After filling in with chalk, outline again with a black oil pastel
  • Tap excess chalk on the edge of table and onto the floor instead of blowing it onto another child’s artwork
  • Spray artwork with hairspray to set

Have fun!


  1. Kristina says:

    Cute! I'm loving the incredibly spiky dino on the botton right.. .and the colors are nice too! :)

  2. Mrs. Hanel says:

    Just what I was looking for! I needed a project for my first graders and was looking for chalk, but hestitating using chalk with first grade. Thank you for the great project!

  3. Cindy says:

    Precious! What color paper did you use?

  4. Patty P says:

    Hi Cindy,
    Black paper.

  5. Vivian says:

    Oh my goodness. These are awesome. I'll have to get my kids to do this. Thanks!

  6. Studio Zanne says:

    Awesome! I'm going to try this with a dragon theme for 4 and 5 year olds…I think you're never too young for pastels (I hope!)

  7. Bobbi says:

    I also love the pictures but think you need to be very careful using chalk with children.
    If you have any children who have asthma they can have an attack from chalk blowing in the air.
    In my district we use oil pastels more, or do chalk on wet paper. If I use dry chalk with elementary students I have them rub it with kleenex to blend it. We sometimes shake off excess into the trash on top of wet paper towels, never onto the floor.

  8. meg duerksen says:

    hello patty….i think i have been here before because i recognize your bike profile photo. :) but i don't think i have commented before. i am a mom ….not a teacher…but i am in love with your projects. i will be searching here over and over for great ideas! i love it.
    i know that i need to go get some pastels now too.
    thanks for sharing so many great ideas with instructions! have a super friday!

  9. Patty P says:

    Thanks Meg! Pastels are so beautiful, but so, so messy! All the more fun, right?

    Hi Bobbi! Thanks for the warning. In all my years of teaching art however, I've never had a child suffer allergies from chalk. I think we keep our art room clean enough and any chalk that lands on the floor gets vacuumed that evening. Good thing to watch for though.

  10. Angela says:

    Love your project idea! I didn't see that you used black paper until just now. We made ours today!

  11. Martha says:

    This and other lessons have been very inspirational to me in teaching; and I’m a lifer. You have brought new life to my art room! Sweet! I had a kinder telling me about dinosaurs today and I remembered seeing a dinosaur lesson here earlier. Sometime after the holiday I’m going to pull out some dino models I have (for the perfectionists!) and the chalk and we’re going to go at it! Thanks for being here!

  12. [...] to Patty at Deep Space Sparkle for this wonderful idea. Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Filed under Art, topic [...]

  13. [...] Dazzlin’ Dino’s (Chalk Pastel) [...]

  14. Fiyona says:

    So nice ! If you are using black paper, do they see the lines they are making with the black oil pastel ?

  15. Tangy Belland says:

    Do you do a directed drawing with this lesson? I’d love to see it if you do.
    p.s. I’m viewing the site in google chrome and all of the w’s in the post are missing. *eird!

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About Patty

I teach art to 400 school children in Goleta, California. My art library contains hundreds of free art lesson ideas. My shop has art lesson plans, videos and resources to help you teach art to kids. It's a whole lot easier with Deep Space Sparkle.

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