Wow! America! by Robert Neubecker is one of my favorite resources for art lessons. I love his dynamic illustrations. This picture book inspired this Space Shuttle art lesson. I created this lesson for my Kinder class but see how art teacher Hannah Millard from Highland Elementary adapted this lesson for fourth grade. I think the results are even more spectacular!
What you’ll need:
- 12″ x 18″ orange, blue, black or yellow construction paper
- 12″ x 18″ white drawing paper
- Pencil or crayon
- Tempera Paint (black, light blue, dark blue, gray, orange, white and yellow)
- Glue and scissors
The space shuttle is fun to draw. Watch the little boys’ faces when they walk into the art room and glance at the white board. You’ll have a captivated audience in no time! I like to put a few samples on the board. One drawing of the space shuttle by itself, one of the painted background and one finished project. I typically don’t put a finished project on the board, feeling that it intimidates and influences their art choices, but in this case I wanted to show how the project was two parts, not just one.
Drawing the Shuttle
To draw the Shuttle, start with the white paper and a pencil. Put an outstretched hand on the top half on the paper (little finger touching the top edge). Where the thumb is, draw a dot. This will be the tip of the shuttle or the nosecone.
Draw a curved line down from the dot on one side and then the other. Connect the two curved lines with a straight line. Add a skinny rectangle vertically. To make the wings, draw triangles on either side of the engine body. Next, draw the big rocket thruster behind the shuttle then add the two booster rockets.
Vary this drawing to however it suits you.
I used Neubecker’s illustration to guide me, but other Space Shuttle images will give you different looks.
Once the drawing is done, paint the insides of the shuttle with the different paint colors.
Painting the Background
Again, I used Neubecker’s illustrations as my guideline. You might want to create a different background. Dip paint brushes into white, orange and yellow paint and create swirling motions with the arms. The kid’s loved this part of the project. I didn’t limit them to how vapor and steam should look. I just explained how hot it must be to propel the rocket so high up into the air.
Putting it all together
Set aside the background and cut out the space shuttle. Glue shuttle to background. Using a small brush dipped in black tempera paint, outline all lines. The pencil lines will be hidden underneath the paint, so explain to the kids that they are to re-draw the shuttle. Keep the teacher sample on the board so they can refer to it.
Kinder Space Shuttles blast off!
Want more free space themed lessons? Click the yellow download button below and you’ll receive our Space X Falcon Heavy Star Man PDF lesson!