What Does Sound LOOK Like?


"My Mom Talking" by my son-I love it!

Grade three has been learning about sound in their science class. My son also happens to be in grade three so I wanted a fun lesson that would support this theme and connect to art at the same time. Expressionism and Kandinsky would be the perfect combination for this lesson!

I started by asking the students to give me a list of sounds that popped into their minds. Car horns, music, loud voices, screams, talking, hiccups, the list was endless! I then asked them what would these sounds look like and what color and shapes would they be?

Klamm Improvisation, Wassily Kandinsky

I introduced the amazing Kandinsky to the kids and we looked at his painting  Klamm Improvisation. This was a great time to talk about expressionism and abstract art.

I challenged the grade three students to choose a secret sound and to think how they could show this sound using colors, shapes and paint.

Everyone got a 12×18 piece of white construction paper. They also cut out a variety of shapes from different colored recycled paper that represented their sound. These could stick flat on the paper or pop out.

I love this circle sticking up!

Painting around the paper shapes

Almost done!


Next step was to paint  more shapes and designs around and over their glued ‘sound’ shapes. I reminded them to think and hear the sound they chose in their mind while they were painting.

The final step after these were dry, was to add a few more shapes, designs and swirls, using oil pastels, that represented how the sound made them feel.  The students were really into this project and were quite curious about each others sounds. Everyone wrote on a piece of paper a title for their artwork which remained top secret till after our sharing time.

At the end of the lesson, we looked at all the artwork and tried to guess the mystery sound!

Beautiful, don’t you think? Kandinsky would be proud! :)

"A girl being excited"

"People screaming "

" Calm dog barking"


"Glass Shattering"


Gorgeous Abstract Art in Grade Seven


I love my grade seven girls! This is the first time I teach middle school art and generally speaking, I have to say it’s not that bad. Teaching the middle school boys is another story and probably another post but … Continue reading

Lines Go Walking In Kindergarten!

I couldn’t resist not doing my previous lesson “Taking Lines for a Walk’ with my eager Kinder kids. We talked about lines and we looked for them in the classroom. We drew imaginary lines in the air and then they were ready for their art project.

Every child got a 18 x 12 piece of white paper and a black crayon. I explained to them that they would take their crayon on a wonderful adventure all over the paper. They can start on any edge of the paper and curl, twirl, curve, zig-zag all around the paper till you say “stop!” They nned to end their line and go off any edge of the paper. Here you need to watch what everyone is doing and make sure the lines don’t get crowded and messy on the paper. In other words, don’t drag this part of the lesson too long!

Taking a line for a walk

Taking a line for a walk


Next, tell your kids to color in some spaces with crayons and to fill in the areas with different lines they can think of such as dots, crosses, hatched lines, etc.

Coloring in some of the spaces

Coloring in some of the spaces

Next and final part of the lesson is to paint the paper with watered down tempera paints (stick to three colors max) or water colors. The result is fantastic and the kids will know everything about lines!

Painting in the rest of the spaces

Painting in the rest of the spaces



Lines, Geometry and Primary Colors!

Mondrian inspired paper collage

Mondrian inspired paper collage

Here’s another great art project that involves exploring lines, geometry and using primary colors. This art project is inspired by Dutch abstract artist Piet Mondrian.  There is plenty of information on the web plus if you go to google images you’ll find many wonderful examples of his work. Before starting this project I made a slide show of many of Piet Mondrian’s art examples (from google images of course)  as well as Mondrian inspired art work from other artists.

Explain to the students that they will make an abstract collage using black, red, yellow and blue paper. Give out a large 18 x 12 white piece of paper, (I love to give kids plenty of space and 9 x 12 paper is not good enough!) . Hand out red, yellow and blue paper (primary colors) plus scissors, a ruler and a glue stick. Tell them to put these materials aside for a bit as they will start with black paper. Give out black paper the same size as your white paper and tell your student to cut it into thin strips cutting horizontally. Ten thin strips is plenty. Tip: to save paper two students can share one piece of black paper.

Next, have the kids play around a bit with their ‘lines’ and to place some strips horizontally and the rest vertically and 1 or 2 strips  diagnally. The vertical one will need to be trimmed.  Encourage them to place shorter lines within a square or rectangle section. See the sample below.

Thinking about line placement

Thinking about line placement

Once they are happy with their design, they can glue their lines one by one carefully so they don’t lose their original design.  They should have a white piece of paper with different rectangles, squares and even triangles. The next part of the project involves filling in most of the areas with either red, blue or yellow paper. This involves them measuring the section with a ruler. Some kids like to place the colored paper over the section and figure out the size. This is ok too because it’s showing creative thinking skills!

It’s important to stress that one or two sections should remain white. They can also place smaller shapes of a different color within shape that already has color. Let them explore and experiment. The results are amazing!


I like the bird!

I like the bird!


I like the shapes within the shapes

I like the shapes within the shapes

Once your students are happy with their design, show the slideshow of Piet Mondrian’s artwork and have the kids compare, contrast and discuss the artist’s work with their own final piece.

Note: For this project, I preferred to show samples of Piet Mondrian’s art at the end of the project because I wanted my student to explore the lines, shapes and color placement without a sample to ‘copy’ from.  Most of them were so surprised to see that they were able to make artwork like someone famous too!

Here is a quick slideshow of the lesson.