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Line Drawing Art Lessons: Name Designs

Here is another popular line drawing art lesson that I do with my fourth grade students. It’s a play on their name. This lesson teaches how to make block letters and to think a bit outside the box.
Again, like other the other line drawings in earlier posts, I tend to start the year off with this type of lesson. It’s simple, requires little prep and the kids love it. Plus, it helps in learning names!

After I show the kids a sample, there is always one student who points out that their name is too short. I mean, what can you do with “Sam” or “Amy”? Lots, I say. It doesn’t matter how many letters the students use (first name, last name, both), layering and toppling the letters in a random, creative way is what its all about.
I suggest using all capital letters, as their are less round shapes, but that can be decided by the students.

Drawing the Outline

Start with the first letter of your name and place it on the bottom of the page in a block letter format. This letter becomes the “foundation” of the pile.
Then, begin adding the other letters, not necessarily in spelling order, around, behind, in front and on top of the first letter. To help with flow, tell the children to turn their papers around.

Adding Patterns

After the letters are piled high (repeating letters is encouraged!), fill in the spaces with patterns. It helps to have some sample patterns on the board to kick-start creativity.

Adding Color

Once the patterns are filled in, bring out the markers and let the children color in the letters. No color rules here: whatever color they chose is fantastic!

Line Drawing Art Lesson: Turtles

Line Drawing Art Lessons Owls and Cats


  1. I love how you incorporate students' names into this lesson! I do line drawing/pattern exercises like this at the beginning of the year, but the students' names (and the ones with animals — the turtles and owls) make it a really fun lesson! I am definitely going to try these. I love that it helps with learning students' names too!!! Thanks for another fabulosu idea!

    Clare W

    July 2, 2009

  2. Your welcome! The name lesson is quite popular with the kids and if they don't finish it within the scheduled time frame, it's a great piece to work on later during future art classes.

    Patty P

    July 2, 2009

  3. How cute! I love the name line drawings!

    sara's art house

    July 9, 2009

  4. I love this. I do a lot of doodle type art with my 4th graders and this will fit right in! Here is the inspiration that I share with my kids when we are starting off with doodling . . . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYsPGkR_F84&NR=1

    I also like this lesson from TeachKidsArt http://teachkidsart.blogspot.com/2009_05_01_archive.html#6588518748526470428
    It also adds skills and knowledge.

    You art teachers are wonderful for sharing your knowledge and helping those of us less skilled/confident/educated in art to still teach our kids to be artists! Thank you!


    July 13, 2009

  5. 'm looking forward to doing this one with some children.


    August 4, 2009

  6. My kids got done with this super quick. Have an activity for those that get done early. Some take a lot of time with this and some get it right away and take off with it.

    meramec masterpieces

    September 21, 2009

  7. Curious how big of paper you like to do this lesson on? 9×12 …12×18 take too long? I noticed the bigger the paper, many times, better the outcome…


    September 14, 2011

    • I almost always use a 12″ x 18″ paper unless stated otherwise. It helps for kids to draw large for this project but a smaller paper would cut down the amount of time needed to complete the lesson.


      September 14, 2011

      • Thanks for the reply, yes, I was going to do 12×18, but I just don’t want it to take forever when we only have 50 mins every 3 days. Thanks for the great lesson. Starting it tomorrow!


        September 21, 2011

  8. Thank you for the idea…my fourth grade is enjoying the project!This works for the end of the year too….calm, fun, simple and interesting!


    May 29, 2012

  9. What a fun project! I’m going to present this to my son’s 4th grade class tomorrow. I am curious as to what the history of Line Drawing may be. I would like to incorporate a little art history lesson, if possible.


    December 4, 2012

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