Mixing Colors in Grade One


Kids love paint and the magic of mixing their own colors. Take out your paints and art smocks because this is a really fun lesson! Start your lesson by reviewing the primary colors (red, yellow and blue). I like to … Continue reading

Name Art in Grade Five


Here is a great lesson you should try with your students and it’s a project that can be done with any grade level. Your students will be creating a square radial design! Decide on the size of the paper you … Continue reading

Self-Portrait Busts in Grade 6


These took quite a while to make and required patience, problem solving and imagination. It’s amazing what you can do with a box, balloon and paper mache! Find more self-portrait lesson ideas here. I think they turned out lovely don’t … Continue reading

Modigliani Self-Portraits in Grade Three


I found this lesson idea over at Art Projects for Kids and decided to try it with my grade three students.  I am a new fan of Amedeo Modigliani and the kids are too. After looking at many of the … Continue reading

Geometric Designs in Grade Five

geometric designs

My grade five students finished their geometric art designs. This was a lesson we did during Ramadan to celebrate the beautiful and different geometric designs found in Islamic art. Each student received a large octagon shape, ruler, pencil and eraser. … Continue reading

4 Top Questions to Ask The First Week Back

Art Goals Sept 2009

“When I examine myself and my method of thought, I come to the conclusion that the gift of fantasy has meant more to me than my talent for absorbing knowledge.” – Albert Einstein Have you noticed how every year on … Continue reading

Taking Lines for a Walk


This is a great lesson I did with grade one and three. I loved the results and the kids had a great time exploring lines. It’s always good to review what a line is with your students and go over … Continue reading

Magical 3D Arms


I have started my after school activity Art and Science Extravaganza so I can have my art teaching fix! It’s so nice to be with students for a change.We are having such a good time and I will try and post as many of the activities we do so you can try them in your classrooms. Everyone loves art and everyone loves science so when you put these together you are bound to get excitement, and a lot of learning.

I saw this activity floating about on Pinterest and followed the link to a really good site: Krokotak. Here you will find lots of fun activities for all ages.

The appeal for this lesson is that it involves drawing, making patterns with makers to create an optical illusion that if done correctly is quite impressive. My club is for grades 1-3 and I found that the older kids were more successful with this particular activity. Younger students will struggle a bit however with your help, they can do it.

Start by having your students outline their hand and part of their arm with a pencil. Make sure they spread their fingers nice and wide. You will then have to model the next part which is to make black horizontal lines across the page with a permanent marker. When you get to any part of the outlined hand you make a curve or a little ‘hill’ and then continue with a straight line. Hills for the inside of the hand and fingers, straight line for any other open spaces. The lines should not be too fart apart or too close either. More details here for the process as I was too busy helping the younger students and couldn’t take photos.

Once the black lines are drawn, the magic and illusion begins with the help of colored markers. It’s best to use the thicker markers to produce even lines. I use Crayola but any good quality marker is great.

Starting at the bottom of the page, each student needs to pick one color and make a line right under each black line and do this all the way to the top of the page. Next, they get another color and make a line under the previous color and continue all the way to the top and so on. It’s important to really emphasize that you can’t change colors halfway- for the illusion to happen, there has to be a pattern. This is your cue to review what a pattern is :)

Once all the spaces are filled, you should have a 3D arm that seems to be on top of the colors–pretty awesome don’t you think?



Happy teaching and see you on Facebook at the Art lessons for Kids page. Join the conversation and if you liked this lesson, please pass it along or pin it for later use.


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Easy Halloween Face Painting Idea

I have been battling a really strong cold or flu this week so my Halloween costume idea has not been on my priority list.

If you need a last minute idea that is really easy and looks like you spent hours and thought into it, turn yourself into a scarecrow. I found this idea floating about on Pinterest and decided to give it a try.

All I had on hand was my mineral makeup, a thin brush and 10 minutes to pull this together. Put on a hat, your favorite farm shirt and you are good to go. If you don’t have mineral make-up, use any good quality face paint such as Snazeroo.

Happy Halloween!


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Fantastic Origami Inspired Cyclops Eye


Halloween is around the corner and with the students all excited about costumes, candy and all things creepy, it can be tough for art teachers to not fall victim to doing the typical seasonal activities. My rule of thumb for holidays is that whatever I do, it has to have an instructional purpose and be different.

I found this lesson (with easy instructions) when I hosted an after school activity last year. This is the perfect time to share it with you so that you can adapt it to your heart’s content. What do you get when you challenge your students to make a cyclop eye by folding paper, origami style? An instant winner that will engage your students in a lot of creepy fun!

I suggest you practice making one for yourself a couple of times to get the hang of it. You basically make all the folds first, work on the eyeball, fold everything and finally work on the eyelid.

Let your students make several if there is time however this lesson took 45 minutes to do with a group of students from grades 1-5. What would a witch eye look like? A zombie? An animal? See all the possible variations on this?



Once you have made the folds, and you have guided the students to draw and outline their eyeball, it’s up to the student to create the eye details however they like. Veins, bloodshot eyes, the sky’s the limit. We used oil pastels because I love how vibrant the colors are but feel free to try water color, pencils, or whatever you like using in class.



The final part is to fold everything closed and work on the eyelid. Again, your students should have the freedom to make the eyelid however they like. How about adding strips of curled paper for eyelashes to give it that realism? Adding texture?

This lesson was a hit with my group of kids and know your students will feel the same. I would love to hear back and see how your Cyclop eye turned out and the variations your students came up with. Feel free to share over at the Art lessons For Kids Facebook page.

Happy Halloween lovely readers!


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Elementary Art Teacher Wanted!

Hello lovely art teachers all over the world!

I want to wish you all a wonderful new year filled with many adventures and amazing teaching. Enjoy the teaching moment, try not to stress out too much and remember that less is more sometimes.

I have been away a bit from blogging since moving to China. Getting onto social sites such as Facebook, Twitter and WordPress has been extremely challenging due to censorship laws. I have managed to find a way around this as do all the rest of expatriates living in this gorgeous country.

I love my new role as Principal and have been quite fortunate to have a great group of teachers to work with. What I love about my job is that I have the freedom and power to create an amazing school and although a work in progress, I know it will get there. I am truly being an artist here by moulding and creating my vision to reality!

Here is the great news. My school will need an elementary art teacher for next year. If you have ever wanted to teach overseas or already do so and want to move on, have experience with UbD, and the inquiry model plus Common Core, are extremely creative, a team player, positive, think outside the box, challenge your students to be magnificent inside and outside the classroom, love what you do and have a great heart, then I want to hear from you! Library experience would also be a bonus but not a must.

China is a wonderful country with so much to see and do. The city I live in is by the coast and very beautiful. My son and I love it here and feel very safe. The school has amazing facilities and staff is great. Situated between Shanghai and Beijing, travel opportunities abound.

If you want more information please email me directly at ale.sartroom(@)gmail.com

Have fun in your classrooms and happy teaching. You are fabulous!

Living in China!

I am now living in China! It has been hard to find a way to blog from here but I finally figured it out. Now that I am somewhat settled in my new place and school I can start blogging again. Lots of art lessons and ideas coming soon to get you back into school mode.

I’m excited about this new school year and I hope you are too.

Enjoy the rest of your summer holidays :)

I’ve Been Nominated: 2012 Fascination Award!

Hi everyone! How is the end of year craziness going for you? Between all the cleaning, doing inventory, saying good byes and packing up your art room, don’t forget to stop and look back at all the amazing projects and inspiring lessons you taught this past school year. Give yourself a huge pat on the shoulder for all those wonderful art displays, art shows, and artistic flavor you gave to make your school a wonderful place. You are awesome –do you know that?

I wil do a little bit of celebrating myself for two reasons:

1. I have accepted a job to be an elementary principal in a gorgeous school in China! Totally unexpected but I strongly believe things happen for a reason and we attract  everything into our lives. There is a reason I should be doing this now so I embrace it completely. Am I nervous? Absolutely! Excited? Of course!

2. My second reason to celebrate is that my little ‘ol blog here has been nominated for a Fascination Award. More specifically, the nomination comes thanks to the post I wrote : ‘Paper Mache Greek Vases in grade Seven‘ which apparently has created a lot of discussion, comments and views. I am so a excited and honored because even though that was a long project to do, it has to be one of my favorite lessons because it was a collaboration with the social studies teacher and helped my students connect art with another subject.

If you liked the post, click on the badge below to vote for it :)

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Thanks for your support and for the 1000+ lovely readers who subscribe to this blog so they don’t miss a post and thank you to all the thousands of wonderful readers from all over the world who visit Art Lessons For Kids every day- you are all AMAZING!

Have a great summer everyone, and take time to re-energize and take care of YOU for a change.