Lesson Plans

Lesson Plans

Here are a couple of lesson plans I intend on using. I believe students will love making these projects!


  1. The purpose of this lesson is to enhance the students' creative and motor skill development and visual/auditory perception to create a unique/one-of a kind piece of art.
  2. Students will work in small groups to plan and create a robot from found objects/junk.
  3. Students will cooperatively develop a story/facts about their robot.
Notes: This lesson is built upon previous lessons revolving around geometric shapes found in man-made environments. Before this lesson is introduced, students should be able to identify, name and find basic geometric shapes in their constructed environments. Art activities using flat 2-D paper shapes for collage were used to build vocabulary and understanding before this lesson was presented.
Essential Questions: What are robots? What are they made of? Have you ever seen a robot up close and personal? What kinds of shapes do you see in robots? How do they move? What do they do? Can you think of anything that you have in your house that is made to help you and your family? (vacuum, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer, blender, toaster etc...)
If you could build your own personal robot, what materials would you use; what would your robot do; does it talk; how does it move; does it eat; what does it eat; what kinds of jobs does it do? Etc...
Resources: Magazines, books with pictures,
Big A Video- "Exploring Ideas" (14:19) (GPN PO Box 80669, Lincoln, NE 68501-0669 800-228-4630), 

Materials: Corrugated cardboard (spray paint) for mounting - Gutted dead school computers, junk from personal and others' sheds, castaways from the school's maintenance and bus barn depts. , junkyard (be a dumpster diver!!)  Hot glue and liquid nails, something to separate stuff for each group (soda pop flats are ideal). Examples of small stuff for the robots might be: clean nails, screws, washers, nuts, bolts, rivets, buttons, coins, jewelry.

Prep ahead of time: cut large sheets of cast-off cardboard into huge rectangles and paint black or whatever color you want. Sort various sized objects from your junk collection into as many boxes as you have groups (4-5 students in each group works well). Decide which kids will work together in which group and write their names on the back of the cardboard.
Activities and Sequence:


  1. Conversation on how this lesson relates to previous one about shapes and introduction of this lesson and what they will be expected to create -2 minutes
  2. Essential questions/discussion and pictures and/or book(s), stories about robots - 5-10 minutes
  3. Show the portion of the Big A video on robots - 5 minutes OR Read a book about robots -10 minutes
(if time is short... let them draw a picture of their robot and save the group 3-D lesson for next time and review information the following class period- we all have different time issues)


  1. Separate kids into groups. Give them their cardboard and box of junk and allow them to explore the stuff -5 minutes
  2. After exploration.. the kids will have great ideas about what they want to use from the junk box for their robot. The only real guidance after this point is to remind them about basic proportion: it will work well if they use a large object for the body and head and the medium sized pieces for the neck, arms and legs and the smaller pieces for feet, toes, fingers/pinchers Also... remind them about trying different ideas- different objects in different places to serve as different body parts of the robot. This allows for everyone in the group to have their idea recognized.
  3. THEN....sit back and let them “creatively play” and imagine. THIS IS THE GOOD STUFF - 10-15 minutes
  4. Monitor and make suggestions only if a group is stuck, but that is very rare.. they are oozing with ideas to try out.
    Closure- review what they learned today and tell them that their robots will be permanently attached to their background next time they come to class.

Van Gogh Sunflowers and Relief Sculpture   ( 3rd & 4th grade)

Students will create sunflower drawings and relief elements on clay using a variety of tools to obtain textures.  Students will observe Van Gogh’s sunflower paintings carefully - compare to work by Georgia O'Keeffe and Monet.







clay, clay tools, canvas cloth, slip dishes, glaze (or underglazes)  

Instructional Resources:

 Pictures of Van Gogh's Sunflower paintings (PowerPoint) - Georgia O'Keeffe's sunflowers and Monet's flower painting. Actual flowers (or silk flowers) for study


Impressionists, Post Impressionists, clay, score and slip, fire, glaze. Texture, additive and subtractive methods of working with clay, relief,


  1. Show Van Gogh’s flowers.  Compare and contrast Sunflowers with Monet flowers and O’Keeffe's sun flowers.  Discuss how Van Gogh used texture in his paintings.

  2. Science integration - discuss parts of flowers (use real flowers if possible).

  3. Demo clay slabs, scoring and slipping, additive and subtractive clay methods.


Distribute clay.   Have students create slabs approx ½ “ thick.  Add and subtract clay to create sunflowers.  Add Hanging device (hole can be made with straw - or insert a high fire wire loop on the back).  Allow to dry. Fire.  Glaze as desired.


Compare and contrast slabs with paintings.  Does student demonstrate a variety of textures in work?


Did students create textured works of sunflowers?  Did students use both additive and subtractive methods of clay work?  

Did students exhibit craftsmanship in working with clay and glazing?

Both of these lesson plans were taken from a great website for art educators called www.incredibleart.org . For more information, click on the link!

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