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First Grade Lessons

Page history last edited by Jeffrey Elmore 1 week, 4 days ago

Fall Unit-Art Elements

Week 1-Welcome/unit overview/first art class drawing


The first week we go over procedures and safety in the art classroom. View the video below through the link.




The first activity is to view the following video below about the art elements. This is the large unit that we go through each fall semester. Each art lesson will be focused on one of the art elements.



The hands on activity is a free draw that is timed. This helps me see the drawing developmental level the student is on and some insight on their attention span. A simple template is provided below, but you can use a piece of paper. Give the student a pencil and some crayons. They can draw whatever they like and color it. They only need to draw and color for the time allotted. It seems simple but most students try to stop before the time is complete. Below are the times for each of the grades. You do not turn in this drawing. 

K-1-10 minutes 

2-3-18 minutes 

4-5-24 minutes


My First Art Class Drawing 2020.pdf  



Week 2-What are different types of lines?

The students will name all different types of lines including straight and other types. The students use a ruler as part of the assignment which helps with their hand eye coordination. Snap a picture of the final drawing and email or Dojo message me.


Watch the line introduction video below.


Watch the following video for the studio activity, line sheet!



Student Example 

Voc. Words













Week 3-When does a line become a shape? Integration Math 

The students learn that a closed line becomes a shape. A shape is flat and two dimensional (height and width). A shape can vary in size. They will create a shape monster by tracing household items to create various shapes. Snap a picture of the final drawing and email or Dojo message me.


Shape introduction video 



Studio assignment-Shape Creature



Student Example


I am a believer in various learning styles. Below is a fun video your student can dance along. They make shapes. It is a great brain break or to get the wiggles out. 



Voc. Words









Week 4-Space, How an Image is Arranged?

The students learn that space in art is not outer space but how an artist using the area of the image. The lesson focuses on the use of horizon line. The students create an image using cut paper that is a mountain scene with a horizon line. They draw things from nature on the image. This helps them understand that things do not float in the air on their artwork. Developmentally at this age, it is hard for the students to use ground and sky in an image. They "float" things in their drawings.


Horizon Line-Where the ground and sky meet.

Horizon line introduction video:



Studio assignment video, horizon line mountain with nature:




Student Example

Voc. Words




Horizon Line 


Week 5 What is Value? Light and Dark

The student learn that value is looking at shadows. The use of shadows in art helps the image look more 3-D. They will complete a value scale and do an activity sheet dealing with a pumpkin patch. 

Pumpkin sheet to print out:

Value Pumpkin Print Out.pdf 






Student Example

Voc. Words






Week 6-What is Form?

The students will learn the difference between a shape and a form. A shape is flat with two dimensions and a form has three dimensions. In their math classes they refer to these as 3-D Shapes. They will create both geometric and organic forms with modeling clay. 


Watch the following video 



Watch the intro. video 



Have your student make some geometric and organic forms with playdough or modeling clay.


Voc. Words:










Week 8-Texture 

The students learn texture refers to how something feels in art, not an emotion. They also learn that textures are not just hard and soft. They will build their vocabulary with adjectives that describe various textures. The activity includes touching various textures and gluing textures to the "Old Goat".





Intro. video 


Print out the image of the goat 

Old Goat 1st Grade Texture.pdf


Assignment: Find some items in the pantry. It can be old noodles, cereal, dried beans. Fill the image of the goat with the material using white school glue. It is best to put a dot of glue and then put one of the items in the dot. If you make a puddle of glue and pour the items on it, they will not stick. As you are gluing feel the item. Is it hard, soft, fluffy, bumpy? Write the word that describes the texture on the line at the right hand bottom of the sheet. 

Student Example


Voc. Words 










Up to Date



Week 9- Color Intro.

The students learn that the origin of color is reflected light. Reflected light is a rainbow. We do a step by step drawing activity called Willie MacGurkle.


First watch the video below 


Watch the video going over the origin of color.







Read through the poem below. Create a picture based on it.

Willie MacGurkle

Did you ever hear of Willie MacGurkle,
Who limped around town with his nose painted purple?
He was the ugliest man I have ever seen,
One eye orange, the other one green.
Yellow hair hung down like straw on his head,
He was dressed all in brown with patches of red.
Out of his beat up shoes his poor toes stuck through,
In very cold weather his toes turned blue.
One day in the rain neath an umbrella of black
Willie left town and he never came back.


Student Example 





Voc. Words 






Week 10- Color, Primary and Secondary 

The students review the three primary colors (red, yellow, blue). They learn the three secondary colors are orange, violet, and green. They complete a simple color wheel.


Watch the video below for review  



Studio Demo. Video 




Color Wheel Print Out. If you do not have paints to complete the assignment, your student can color with crayons the colors in the appropriate spots.

1st and 2nd Color Wheel.pdf




Voc. Words 





Week 11-Applying Color Theory 

This lesson is the first of a two class assignment. First we are painting holiday lights for our paper tree. The students will paint and mix primary, secondary, and a neutral color to complete a set of holiday lights. Keep this assignment for next art time. Will need the lights to decorate the tree.


Studio Video 


Light Sheet for printing 

1st Grade Lights Sheet.pdf





Week 12-Part 2-Creating the Tree


Watch the video below 


Link to print out of tree. It is page two. 


K-1 Holiday Sheets.pdf






Week 13 and 14-Watercolor Winter 



The students develop their own winter scenes. We discuss what things do we see in winter to include in their images. The first day the students draw out their image and trace with permanent marker. Part two, the students learn basic watercolor techniques and paint their image using cool colors.


Part One Video



Watch the following video to understand warm and cool colors:



Part Two Video  



Student Example

Voc. Words 




Cool Colors 















Week 16-Snowflakes 

The students will learn that snowflakes have symmetrical and radial balance. They will create a snowflake uses cool colors and will finish with a piece of yarn to hang. 

Voc. Words 

Cool Colors 






Week 17 and 18-The Third Dimension 

The student learn the difference between 2-D and 3-D artworks. 3-D artworks can be considered sculpture. The students make kinetic sand. The first class they create the mixture and the second class they play with the sand in their group. This will help prepare their tactical skills.

Voc. Words 



Folding vs Stirring



Click here for directions!





Week 19-Clay Intro.

In this class the students will be introduced to natural clay. They learn clay is a natural material that has been used to create utilitarian and art pottery for 1000's of years. They will look at some work from my personal collection. They will go over the procedures for handling clay including kneading/wedging and hand washing. This will prepare the students for the main project.

Voc. Words








Week 20-Coil Snake

The students will create a clay snake. They will learn what is a coil and the use of clay tools. This will be saved to begin the drying out process. 

Voc. Words


Clay Tool 

Click Here for a tutorial!



Week 21-Painting/Glazing, Bone Dry, and Kiln Firing


During this class, the students will paint their pottery projects. We will discuss different ways to add color to and protect pottery. We will also discuss what bone dry is and looks like. The students will then watch a time lapse of pottery being created from start to finish. When the students have completed their projects, they will turn them back in to be sealed. They will be able to take their projects home next week.


Voc. Words 

Bone Dry 




Wheel Throwing 









Week 22-Abstract Portraits with Chalk & Chalk Pastels


Students will be prompted to close their eyes and draw shapes that mimic features (“Draw 2 circles anywhere on your paper.” – Eyes, “Draw a Triangle anywhere on your paper.”– Nose, Etc.). After drawing these shapes, students will be informed that they are making an abstract portrait and that they have around 5 mins to make these shapes look like a face. Once they have drawn this face in pencil, they will trace it with black marker. After tracing with black marker they will use chalk pastels/chalk to fill in all of the paper around the black lines. They may use the chalk/pastels to add texture, blend, add patterns, etc. They will leave their work with Ms. D.J. so she may apply a fixative and they will be able to take them home next week.  









Week 23-Mixed Media/Collage 

Students will create a paper collage from old magazines, newspapers, construction paper, etc. They should use a wide variety of shapes, colors, patterns, and sizes. They will arrange their composition and then glue their work to a page. If they finish their composition early, they may use paint and/or markers to add texture and patterns to their piece. The students will learn about Matisse and how he used organic shapes and cutouts to make interesting and aesthetically pleasing compositions.


Vocabulary Words











Week 24 – Mosaic 

Vocab: (Mosaic, Base, Tesserae, Adhesive)


Students will learn about mosaic art and the many different variations of materials used in mosaic. Students will make mosaics by gluing dry goods (beans, cereal, rice, etc) or any other found materials (approved by guardians) to a piece of paper to make a picture. They may design/plan out their mosaic or create impulsively.


Artists in order: Emma Karp Lundstrom (her mosaic is made out of apples!!), Isaiah Zagar, Peter Cavallini, Antoni Gaudi




Week 25 – Weaving/Fiber Art


Vocab: (Textiles, Weaving, Loom, Warp, Weft)


Students will need a paper plate, scissors, and yarn. They will follow the video tutorial below to complete their own paper plate woven flower.






Students will need:

  1.  A piece of cardboard, paper plate, or other flat surface that they can glue materials to.
  2. Cardboard that they can cut into shapes, yarn, foam stickers, or any other materials they can glue to number 1 that will provide texture (you can use pretty much anything that will create a raised surface when glued to a flat surface, get creative! You don’t have to use what I have listed. Just make sure that it’s okay that the item is covered in paint and glued to your surface.
  3. Paint (any kind of paint should work).
  4. Paper.
  5. Glue stick or liquid glue.



  1. Glue whatever materials you have chosen to use to your flat surface. Let them dry. This will be your “collograph” plate.
  2. Cover your collograph plate with a light coat of paint. Make sure that you cover all of the materials that you have glued onto your collograph plate, so that all of the texture is transferred.
  3. Press your collograph plate onto your clean sheet of paper with the materials facing down. Press firmly to make sure that all of the materials are touching the paper but not so firm that materials come unglued or break off of your collograph plate.
  4. Pull your collograph plate off of your paper to reveal your first collograph print!
  5. Try covering the collograph plate with another light coat of paint in a different color and printing again. You may do it in the same place, rotate the plate, print it in a different area of your paper, etc. Get creative!

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