Romare Bearden Collage

Romare Bearden Art Lesson

Part of my grade 5 art curriculum is to introduce a collage art lesson. The concept of collage seems easy; placing and arranging layers of paper, paint and subjects on a piece of paper, but in truth, it is a hard concept to grasp. For children, the inherit action to place objects around the perimeter of the paper is still strong in fifth grade. Have you noticed this? Composition, therefore, … Read More →

Ancient Greece Mural Project


Capping off the 6th grade promotion festivities was the reveal of the annual 6th grade mural. This year we chose to do Ancient Greece, with many student’s incorporating mythological creatures into their tile creations. We used terra cotta clay to create our tiles. To save time and to take advantage of the sgraffito technique, we painted our underglaze directly onto the greenware. This is sometimes difficult as kids have a … Read More →

Patterned Matryoshka Dolls

Matryoshka dolls

Matryoshka dolls are wooden nesting dolls originating from Russia. They are handcrafted by folk artists and often feature a woman wearing a traditional Russian dress and scarf. Many dolls seen today can carry many themes ranging from political leaders to cartoon characters. For my second grade students, these nesting dolls are the perfect vehicle for a lesson in line and pattern. Supplies 2 sheets of 12″ x 18″ white paper … Read More →

Paper Cut Molas

Paper cut mola

I’ve posted about Paper Molas before and because it’s such a fab project, I will post again. Recently I was at a friends home and noticed some newly framed artwork on her walls. They were authentic molas from Panama and Colombia. Molas are cloth panels that form part of a blouse for the Kuna women. They use a quilting technique called reverse appliqué. Because I used to be (and hope to be … Read More →

American Indian Art Lesson Plans


Learning how art impacts every culture and civilization in the world is an important part of any art curriculum. I remember learning about Canada’s native population in second grade. Making igloos from marshmallows and creating my own “Eskimo” paper doll remains my most vivid childhood art experience. The art hasn’t changed much, but the verbiage has. The National Museum of the American Indian was a tremendous help in sorting out commonly … Read More →

Mexican Unit: Chalk Adobe


Want a quick, easy project where every student is successful? This is it! The best part about teaching art is seeing how my students respond to a new lesson. I’m not a scientist, but boy, it sure is interesting to see if my expectations line up with reality. This lesson exceeded it. Continuing with my Mexican unit, fifth graders drew adobes with colored chalk and oil pastels.   So here’s … Read More →

Aztec Warriors

aztec art

Aztec Warriors are really fun to draw. Using few supplies (black waterproof marker, colored broad tip markers and paper) my sixth graders dove straight into the drawing with a black marker. When you look at the gallery, it’s hard to believe that no pencils were involved, but they weren’t necessary. I recently discussed the pros and cons of using pencils in the art room in this post. This lesson is … Read More →

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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