How to Teach Line and Pattern to children in elementary school

How to Teach Line & Pattern | Elements and Principles of Design

Line is one of the first elements of art that sets the foundation for art making in elementary school. Teaching children about line empowers them to see how simple lines can turn into shapes and eventually, into advanced subjects and compositions.

A subject that they may have thought to be too difficult to draw, such as a clipper ship, all of a sudden becomes doable. What an exciting experience for children to have in the art room.

How to Teach Line and Pattern to children in elementary school

Teaching an art project designed specifically to teach children about LINE in your first few weeks of school is an absolute winning combination. Not only are line-focused projects relatively easy to prepare (all you need is paper and drawing tools), they can help set the foundation for a successful year of learning how to draw and create art.

So what exactly is a line and what types of projects teaches children the proper way to draw a line?

Let’s start with what a line is…

A line is defined as the path of a moving dot. Lines can vary in direction and thickness.

For young students, a LINE activity can be as simple as identifying basic lines: zigzag, bumpy, wavy, horizontal, etc.

For older students, the concepts increase in complexity by showing how lines can be used to show texture or expression in a work of art.

How to Teach Line and Pattern to children in elementary school

Combining LINE and PATTERN

Line is often paired with Pattern, which is a Principle of Design. In my opinion, they go together like peas and carrots.

While the definition sounds a bit complicated, it’s actually one of the most fun Principles to work with.

Here’s the official definition:

PATTERN is an arrangement made from repeating visual elements.

Let’s break that down…

When you draw a dot on a sheet of paper, it’s usually the start of something. It can go anywhere. The dot can keep moving, which quickly turns it into a line. Or it can go around or change directions and come back to join itself, which becomes a SHAPE.

How to Teach Line and Pattern to children in elementary school

But when it hops around, let’s say in equal distances, it becomes a dotted line. Or if it can’t make up its mind and goes from a dot to a line back to a dot and then again to a line…that’s a PATTERN.

I love drawing patterns in art and so do kids.

How to Teach Line + Pattern

In the video below, I show you how to teach Line and Shape by drawing a simple pattern turtle (great for ages 5-8) and a Pattern Rooster (great for 8-12).

Tip: this is an older video that shares lots of info about our Elements of Art Curriculum, but if you want to go straight to the drawing portion, skip to the 9:28 mark.

Interested in starting your year refreshed, prepared and ready to go?

Download our back to School Guide |Resources to help kickstart your art program

Click here to subscribe

It’s a 3-part strategy on how to use the Elements of Arts when planning your art curriculum including ordering supplies, a grade level checklist for the scope and sequence of K-7 Elements of Art and What I’ll Learn in Art Class posters.

To learn how to teach the Elements of Art to elementary school students, here are a few posts that will get you started:

How to Teach Shape

How to Teach Color

How to Teach Line and Pattern to elementary school students with free back to school guide PDF

What do you think?

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  • Marilyn


    • Patty

      To download the PDF, you’ll need to enter your name and email in the box below the video. The keyword was used during our live presentation. Thanks!

    • Genie Porter

      So helpful- thanks

    • LaTonia Wilson

      New Art teacher

  • Shira


    • Patty

      To download the PDF, you’ll need to enter your name and email in the box below the video. The keyword was used during our live presentation. Thanks!

      • Tami Stam


    • Pinal k Agrawal

      Beautiful helpful Art

  • Karen

    My head is spinning with all the great ideas! This was JUST what I’ve been looking for! Thanks!

    • Cris

      Thank you for all your great ideas! 😊

    • Gauri

      This is fabulous ! I would like a copy of this . Thanks so much !

  • Aleksandra


    • Patty

      To download the PDF, you’ll need to enter your name and email in the box below the video. The keyword was used during our live presentation. Thanks!

      • Heba


  • Suzanne Lesueur


  • Suzanne

    The webinar was very informative and I will be joining today.

  • debbiehoerst

    I was under the impression that the standards would be listed but I don’t see them.

    • Patty

      Hi Debbie,
      Are you a new Sparkler? If so, you will need to login to the private Sparklers Club website. Check your email for the link, OR access The Sparklers Club through the menu bar of Deep Space Sparkle.
      If you have any problems, contact support@deepspacesparkle.com

    • Joey

      Great for my year 2s!

  • Sue

    This looks amazing, thank you.

  • Eunice


  • linda

    Exactly what I’ve been looking for to teach my young grandsons.

  • wendy fletcher


  • Usha Cottrell

    Looks great , interested in a copy.

    • Patty

      Hi Usha,
      I’d love for you to download the PDF…just click on the box at the end of the post, enter your name and email and then go check your inbox. It’ll be waiting for you. Enjoy!

  • Annemie Van der Smissen

    I’m going to test the turtle in september! Looking forward to it!

  • Evalea Brightwell

    Thank you for the handout. Im very excited to use this in my class.

  • Jenny Hughes

    You have amazing ideas and resources!

  • Caroline Hosick


  • Cortney McAloon

    LOVED IT! Looking forward to learning more! I signed up for workshop but wasn’t able to attend. Anyway to review it? Thank you for everything you do!

  • Veena

    Awesome Line and Pattern projects

  • Debbie


  • Fiona Coulter

    Cant wait to receive my new art lessons

    • Patty

      Hi Fiona! I noticed you just became a Sparkler! Make sure you login to the private Sparklers Website to get full access to the Line & Pattern Bundle. This page is for non-members 🙂 Here’s a link: https://www.sparklersclub.com/tsc/

  • Christine Dutcher

    Epic line

  • Catalino Ancheta

    I would like to have a copy of the handout on lines and patterns. Thank you.

    • Patty

      No problem. Click the box at the end of the post, add you name and email and we are happy to email it to you. Thanks!

  • mary.hess

    For some reason i am unable to view items such as videos from your site on my school computer. I feel like I have waited my membership.

    • Patty

      Hi Mary…The Sparklers Club membership content is available through our private Sparklers-only website.

      Here is the URL: https://www.sparklersclub.com/tsc/

      The video in this free post links to Facebook. You can watch the instructional art tutorial from any mobile device, desktop computer or tablet. Some schools do not allow facebook to be accessed at schools. If this is the case, then I would watch the video when you are not at school. This video is not a part of your membership….it’s totally free and meant for anyone who is interested in learning more about teaching art.

      Any videos that are a part of your membership is available only through the private website.

      Let us know if you have any trouble logging into the site!



  • Cindy Cooney

    Is there a way to access the Elements of Art Video without Facebook?

    • Patty

      Yes. You can watch all but the Line & Pattern via the blog.

  • Annie

    Thank you! I tutor a group of great homeschool kids and this is just what we needed! I can always depend on you to provide an easy-to-implement lesson plan! The results are consistently amazing.

  • Heather Sportsman

    This is excellent! I can’t wait to try this with my first grade class!

  • Way

    Thank you very much

  • basma nabil

    thank you

  • laurie

    Very useful to introduce in my classroom. Thanks so much!

  • Moira

    Thanks so very much! This is so very helpful for teachers who are not trained in art education.
    Many thanks for sharing your time and talent 🙂

    • Patty

      You’re welcome!

  • Noni

    Dear Patty
    Thank s a lot!! Very helpful!! I will try it in my six years old class in Cyprus!

  • Ann Johnson

    Thank you! Lesson plan complete! Any suggestions for a book to read for Kinders? Turtle theme?

  • stephanie Peters

    I have been asked to volunteer to teach 4th grade art. I am great with kids but not an artist. I am hoping this can help me.

  • Grace Cheong

    I’m listing on this program first time. It was great lesson for teaching the kindergarten. I would like to get more information from you.
    Thank you.

  • Clara

    I have entered my name and email but do not see how to receive the download?

  • Elena

    I like it very much

  • Zach Roush


    • Patty

      Hi Zach…if you would like the download, just click the green button above and we’ll email you the PDF 🙂

  • tinacjh


  • Tere

    Hola, es la primera vez q estoy por aqui, me encantaron los diseños, espero poder conocer como haces esto con los alumnos, gracias!

  • Marilynn Davis

    I am a retired art teacher now teaching 4th graders art as a volunteer in a school that needs art supplies

  • Elizabeth Sweeney

    Looks super cool!

  • Paul

    Hi Patty,
    I’ve followed your site for a few years and love your ideas.

  • K.Vasantha Sena

    Looking for this pdf for art teaching

    • Patty

      Hi K,
      Click on the light green button that says “click to download”. Enter your name and email and we’ll email you the PDF 🙂

  • Lol Zed

    Looking forward to trying this in the new year.

  • patricia

    me encanto para mis alumnos

  • Tracy

    Brilliant. Just what I need. Thanks in advance!

  • Meg McDonnell


  • sheren damra

    thank you .

  • Ilna van Schalkwyk

    I would love to explore sparkler. Looks exciting

  • Ilna van Schalkwyk

    I would love to explore sparkler. Looks exciting .

  • Tanya Kilpatrick

    Awesome!! Patty, your lessons are great! Thanks!

  • rebecca tucker

    cant wait to check this out

  • Karin

    I entered my name and email in the box below the video and have not received my fee printable on line & pattern. Please help!

    • Patty

      Go ahead and check you spam folder and then if you cant find it, just reach out to support@deepspacesparkle.com 🙂

  • Mary Chaney

    I am a retired teacher asked to come back and do art with students. I am not per say an art teacher. But I love doing art with students. I loved this lesson on Lines and shapes.

  • Safariah


  • Jenny

    Excited to check this out.

  • Suraya

    Awesome! Thank you!

  • Malak

    Pls i wanna the pdf

  • Asmalaili


  • Venus

    I am an Elementary teacher.

  • Sanja


    • Patty

      Hi Sanja….if you would like the handout, just scroll down the post and click the handout button. Thanks!

  • Claudet Lisse

    Thank you

  • P

    Thank you

  • Reena


  • Jamie Herzmann


  • Ryan Cochrane


  • calcy


  • louise

    Splendid!!!!! Thank you.

  • Laney Cobb

    I would love this pdf

    • Patty

      I’d love to send it to oyu. Just click on the green button in the post, add your name and email and we’ll send it to you! Enjoy!

  • Pooja patel

    Great video

  • Justin Larson

    send the line and pattern video. Very curious!

  • shalini

    I would like to download the pdf

  • Jeana Gutierrez


  • PriyA buttan


  • Shannon Leonard

    Excited for the PDF

  • Amanda

    Looks Fun

  • lynn

    Thank you for nice sharing

  • Rajalakshmi Karthick

    I want worksheet models for Elements and principles of art.

  • Ritzy

    Awesome resources!

  • mie mie tanskul

    it looks so interesting.

  • Kathy hurley


  • Sandra

    I love it! It’s one of the first things I like to teach the kids in the beginning of the year. it helps them with letter formation so much!

    • Darlene Delgado

      I’m interested in the PDF 🙂

  • Maggie


  • Niki

    This will be a great start. Thank you

  • Linsay Narvaez

    I saw that Deep Space Sparkle will have a workshop this Saturday. Great, but I don’t have permission from my school for this PD. Will there be more later this Summer? Thanks! Looks fabulous?

  • Truong Cam Yen


  • Anita

    I am excited to use the line handout

  • Keri


  • Thin

    May I get Free PDF

  • Theresa Goh

    I love your site and programme. Thank you for your enthusiasm, it’s catchy!

  • Lisa

    I’m hoping you can send me th line and pattern handout?
    Thx so much!?

    • Patty

      Just go ahead and click on the image for the download. Enter your name and email and we’ll send it to you 🙂

  • Heather Strait

    I am so grateful for you. I love art, but never wanted to teach it! My hand doesn’t do what my mind sees 🙂 You have inspired me and I am confident that my students will learn about and incorporate some of the elements of art and principles of design this year.

  • Deb


  • Rebecca Davis

    I am new to teaching art and these are tutorials are wonderful. I love them.

  • Holli Nunes

    I would love to teach this lesson to my class!

  • Sara Dunning

    Hello, I am hard of hearing, and some of my students are hard of hearing or deaf. Is it possible for you to add closed captioning to the future videos? Thank you either way! I appreciate all of the valuable lessons and resources you all have shared with us. – Sara

    • Patty

      Hi Sara…it’s hard to add close captions to Facebook Lives because they are quite lengthy. they are also meant for the teacher to learn from. BUT, we are trying to add more and more videos with close captions. We offered a few on our IGTV channel. Have you seen those?
      Thanks for the input. Its always good to know how to serve better.

  • Ed Tryon

    I’m going to try this lesson with my first and second graders. First I’m going to scaffold it by having the students practice some different types of lines straight, curved, spiral, dotted, etc. and add a few more pictures. This really looks like a good lesson

  • Jody

    I would love this resource

  • Jessica


  • Jessica


  • Alice Azoulay

    Love the activity sheets for my students.

  • Rafaela Gomez Castro

    Hi there
    Thanks so much for the free handouts. They are great and straight forward. I am an art teacher in the primary school and i am starting a lunch club this week. I will be focusing on the elements of Art to do something different with the children. Thanks again

  • Ruth

    I am interested in joining your organization…just got to consider the money.

  • Danielle Cady

    Handout will not download. Says its damaged?

    • Patty

      Thanks for your email.
      Try again and if that doesn’t work, you can reach out to support@deepspacesparkle.com. Also make sure you have an updated PDF reader like Adobe. Updating your computer helps too.

  • Resa

    Thank you. I love your lessons because they look good and are easy to follow.

  • Paula


  • Tohida

    Very helpful

  • nour

    thank you

  • Christine Gostling

    I love the idea of this way of teaching art……am excited to try it with a 5 year old home schooled youngster!!!

  • christine kellier

    THe program seems interesting that I can use at my school

  • Starr Campbell

    This seems to be simple enough to include in a lesson to teach my 2nd graders. Thank you so much for helping me

  • Sudha

    Great info.

  • Tania Kilian


  • Gila Miller

    I am an art teacher , my students with special needs and a low developmental function.

  • Josina Davis


  • Tania Doepker

    I would like to download the PDF please

  • Jean Chen

    Great ideas.
    Want to try it with kids.
    Thank you so much.

  • Jade


  • Pat

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Jana

    I would love to read the ideas found in the pdf. It will help me alot

    • Patty

      We release a new video and lesson tutorial every Tuesday, so check back and we’ll have the video, post and drawing guide for new lessons each week. You can check the calendar inside the March Freebie for what’s coming up.

  • Sal

    Would really love to see this

  • Purvi

    I would just love to have PDF version for the same

  • Bro

    This was very helpful I’ve got to have more. I read thru later had a lesson with the students they were excited and engaged throughout the lesson thank you!

  • Bridget

    This was very helpful I’ve got to have more. I read thru later had a lesson with the students they were excited and engaged throughout the lesson thank you!

  • Corinna Schinnerer

    So adorable!!

  • Consuelo


  • Consuelo


  • Monica Moran

    Looking forward to doing this project with my kiddos! Thanks for the post! Monica Moran

  • Elaine Duffy

    Would love to have this pdf to teach line & pattern to my kids.

  • Susan

    I’m a Volenteer art teacher at an elementary school (where my own children went) that has no art program due to funding.
    In the past 4years (with no training)I have learned a lot From all the little blessings the teachers bring to explore their imaginations, Relive stress,
    Make a mess and have fun!
    I would like to thank you for your ideas and the time and energy it takes to do your posts

  • Helmien van der Westhuizen


  • Vera Knight

    I will be teaching 4th grade ART and I have never taught art so I need all the help you can give me.

  • Mary

    Neat! Lines are so important as precursors to many fine motor skills.

  • Bridge Gutzeit

    Thank you for this I look forward to using it in my classroom

  • myriam

    J’aime beaucoup votre site !

  • Penelope


  • natalie mackay

    is this for grade 1?

  • Joyce


  • Susanna Solecki

    I have a membership so when I try to download it, I get prompted to log in and go to the site. When I go there, I cannot find this hand out. I would like to have lessons for teaching all the elements of art bundled for primary. Does this exist already? Thanks

    • Patty

      Hi Susanna! We have an entire Curriculum for the Elements of Art and principles of design. login to The Sparklers Club website and click on CURRICULUMS. This is the free post on Deep Space Sparkle. Here’s the link to The Sparklers Club:

  • Bobbi Mathews

    please email me this line and pattern packet. Thanks!

  • Michelle

    would love to be a member of the Sparkle group, I am an art teacher as well.

    • Bethany

      Hi Michelle. The Sparkle Facebook group is a PRIVATE Deep Space Sparkle Members’ Club group. You must be a paying member (Sparkler!) of The Sparkler’s Club for access. Our membership will open again in January. You can join the waitlist here: https://deepspacesparkle.lpages.co/the-sparklers-club-waitlist/

  • Corinna Brown

    I just discovered your website . I am about to teach the kindergarten students online about elements of design. I will start with lines and patterns. I am excited to see where this takes us because we are not physically together and all the students have different materials. Some do not even have paper. So will try to use some of your ideas and alter them based on what student have at hand. We like to use objects (we call them loose parts) found in nature or around the house.

  • Amanda Flores

    Thanks for the activity!

  • Amy Lefkof


  • Richa

    Pls share pdf

    • Patty

      It’s available to you. Just click the box, add your name and email and we’ll send it to you.

  • margaret

    I have been looking for something like this for a while to use with my Grade 2 students!

  • Catherine Cronin

    Wonderful technique and topic. Thanks

  • Melissa

    I would love a copy please.

    • Bethany

      Absolutely! Just click the “click to download” image, add your name and email and we’ll send it to you!

  • Avani garg

    Its beautiful

  • Mindy

    I’d love to learn more about pattern art for preschoolers age 4 to 6 years older. Thank you.

    • Bethany

      Hi Mindy! Our Primerry and DSS lessons are geared toward children ages 5-12. While we don’t have lesson plans specifically for Preschoolers, many teachers use the Kinder lessons and modify them. Or use our printables and allow them to color in and have fun!

  • Elaine Murphy

    Lovely lesson idea

  • Kerryn Newton-Edwards

    Hi I’m in he uk and came across your amazing videos. Can i still apply to get the curriculum plan and become a member

    • Bethany

      Hi Kerryn! Absolutely! We have members from all over the world! If you’re not a subscribing member (yet!) you can find more info on our Deep Space Sparkle website at https://www.deepspacesparkle.com.

  • Laura Patricia Martínez Nogueira

    Please, send me the PDF.

    • Bethany

      Hi Laura! Just scroll down to the green box that says “Click to download”. If you add your email and name there we will send it to your inbox! Enjoy

  • Shilpa

    Superb Awesome

  • Sheri Jackson

    I cannot wait to become a member of the Sparklers. I am new to teaching art and am so excited about this curriculum and your amazing resources!

  • Renee Carter


  • amy steiner

    this was epic! thanks so much

  • Bernadette Whitman

    Love these techniques

  • gretchen.simpson

    Hello- The link to submit name and email are not working. Is it just on my end? THANKS!

  • Alicia


  • Gretchen Voronin

    Love your work

  • Nicola Lee

    Fantastic resource

  • Maria Girlie O. Maristaza

    We need activities like this for our learners. Thank you!

  • Gvantsa Korkia


  • Julija

    Thank you for this project!

  • Rachel Challenger

    Great ideas

  • Skyy

    Please, I can’t download how to line and pattern. It says it is no longer available. I hope not!!!

    • Patty

      Hi Skyy!
      Thanks so much for letting us know. It’s all fixed now 🙂

  • Jennifer Jay


  • Gainor Andrews

    I’m starting an art class to help Vietnamese students learn art and practice English. This is really helping me thank you. Right now this is a hobby so I cant wait till I can join your membership. Thank you Thank you.

  • Lisa Chlan

    Great resource!

  • ELLA


  • Renata Marsh

    Excellent. From Australia. Beginning the new year with year 1. With an under the sea theme and patterns in mathematics. Will be looking at signing up. Thank you.

  • Veronica Goulet

    Nice simple suggestion for my special ed class… thanks!!

  • Erika Andrus

    This is just what I was looking for!

  • sarah.kukulski

    Hello, I would love a copy of this PDF if it is still available. I will be teaching Art this summer and I know this would be very helpful for me. Thanks!

    • Bethany

      Hi Sarah! Everything is working on our end. If you click the download button and add your email address we will send the lesson directly to your inbox. Be sure to check your Spam or Junk folders to make sure it didn’t end up there. We’ve recently learned that our downloads aren’t working with a Firefox browser, so I’d suggest using Chrome or Safari instead. Enjoy!

  • D

    Thanks! I teach high school boys and I am always looking for new ways to teach them and try to develop an application for art. Unfortunately many take the class because they think it will be easy and will not have much work to do. Do you have any suggestions for helping change their mindset? Thanks again and God bless!

  • Donna

    Love this !

  • Sandra

    Thank you, I love your instructional ideas to teach elements of art.

  • Angela

    Thanks for this fun tutorial!


    I love your ART works

  • Lee

    Your lessons have brought so much art into the schools.

  • denise

    great content. cant wait to try on my littles!

  • Joann Saltysiak

    This looks great!

  • Julia Giwerzew