5th Grade Art Lessons

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Mona Lisa Puzzle

Students worked together as a class to create a giant Mona Lisa picture. Each student was given a small square, that appeared to be an abstract arrangement of shapes and colors. It was their job to copy that square to the best of their ability onto a larger square. They tried to do the best color matching, and measuring that they could.  When they were done students were called up by number and we glued their squares into the proper arrangement to reveal the project they had all been working on together... the Mona Lisa! 

Grade:  5th grade

Time: one 60 min class

Materials:
4"x4" white paper squares
pencils
crayons

Learning Objectives:
 


Van Gogh Inspired Starry Night

 Fifth graders looked at the work of Vincent Van Gogh and used his famous painting "Starry Night" as inspiration for their own starry night paintings. They started by mapping out their composition with pencil. Then they used oil pastels to create textures and swirls of colors much like the style of Van Gogh. After the oil pastels they painted on top with watercolor paint.

Grade:  5th grade

Time: two-three 60 min classes

Materials:
9"x12" white paper
pencils
oil pastels
watercolor paint (black, blue, purple)

Learning Objectives:
 


Vikings Pen and Ink

Fifth graders learned about Vikings in their social studies class. They learned that Viking were not just the fierce warriors that people always assume they to be. Many Vikings were also very experienced farmers, fishermen, ironworkers, traders, and writers. But, for fun we decided to draw Vikings the way that they have been portrayed in the myths and legends! Students learned about pen and ink techniques, like hatching, cross-hatching, and stippling and they applied these techniques to their drawings. 

Grade:  5th grade

Time: two-three 60 min classes

Materials:
6"x9" white paper
pencils
Sharpie markers
watercolor paints

Learning Objectives:
 


Mayan Mask ~ Complimentary Colors

Students in fifth grade learn about the Mayans in their Social Studies class, so in Art class we decided to create some masks of our own. Using geometric shapes students created an abstract sort of mask. Then using only one set of complimentary colors students painted their mask, then outlined all the shapes with black paint. When they mask we complete they were able to but them out and tie them with a string! 

Grade:  5th grade

Time: two 60 min classes

Materials:
12"x18" white paper
pencils
tempera paint
scissors

Learning Objectives:
 


The Dot

 Students read the story "The Dot" by Peter Reynolds. It is a story about believing in yourself and believing in your Artwork. They then created an image starting with only "one dot" on their paper. They could create their down into whatever they wanted, and should just let their intuition guide them. The students used no pencil. They started right away with permanent markers since there could be no "mistakes" in this project. After completing their drawings they filled in color with tempera paint cakes.

Grade:  5th grade

Time: two 60 min classes

Materials:
9"x9" white paper
pencils
Sharpie markers
markers or watercolor paint

Learning Objectives:
 


Geometric Scratch Board

 5th grade students discussed the difference between an organic and a geometric shape. They created an abstract design in scratch-board by using a variety of lines and shapes. They used rulers or shapes tracers to create positive and negative shapes within their design. After their design was drawn they filled in the spaces with patterns and textures.

Grade:  5th grade

Time: two 60 min classes

Materials:
6"x9" white paper
6"x9" scratch art paper
pencils
wooden scratch stick

Learning Objectives:
 


Statue of "Me"

Students discussed the importance of the Statue of Liberty and what she stands for in this country. They then created their own statues and included items that are important to them. Some students drew a self portrait, while others personified their objects. The artwork was done using pencils, markers, crayons and watercolor paint.  

Grade:  5th grade

Time: two-three 60 min classes

Materials:
12"x18" white paper
pencils
Sharpie markers
watercolor paint

Learning Objectives:
 


Hidden Block Letter Name Design

 Students wrote their name over and over again in large block letters within a grid for their project. They learned the difference between positive and negative space. Students are accustomed to focusing on the positive space so for this project they were instructed to add patterns and designs within the negative spaces between the letters of their name. They used oil pastels for the designs. When they were done with the negative space they filled the positive space (all the connecting letters) with the paint color of their choice. The above example shows the name "Emma".

Grade:  5th grade

Time: two 60 min classes

Materials:
12"x18" white paper
pencils
oil pastels
watercolor paints

Learning Objectives:
 


Babushkas

 Students learned the history behind Russian Nesting Dolls, also known as Babushkas, and they got to view some examples of real ones.  The created a drawing with hidden doors that revealed smaller dolls nestled within.  They tried to make their Babushka has mirror symmetry and they filled up the dolls clothing with interesting patterns.

Grade:  5th grade

Time: two-three 60 min classes

Materials:
12"x18" colored paper
pencils
Sharpie markers
construction paper crayons

Learning Objectives:
 


Yarn Weaving or Stitching

For this lesson students learned about the historic Lowell, MA textile mills and their process of weaving. They created their own cardboard loom and weaved a small “blanket” out of yarn. They also attempted to create an interesting pattern in their “blanket”. 

Grade:  5th grade

Time:  three 60 min classes

Materials:
cardboard looms
yarn in assorted colors
scissors

Learning Objectives:
 


Andy Goldsworthy Inspired Nature Art

 Students are shown examples of nature art created by Andy Goldworthy. They talk about installation art, and also the temporary properties of creating Art outside. After some discussion students are taken outside and given freedom to create their own Nature Art either with a partner or on their own. They can use any materials from nature as long as they can use them and acquire them safely.

Grade:  5th grade

Time: one 60 min class

Materials:
found materials in nature

Learning Objectives:
 


Norman Rockwell's April Fools Game

Students viewed several paintings by the artist Norman Rockwell. They discussed the common themes in the paintings such as people, family, everyday events, details, and filling the whole page. Then I showed them his April Fool's print "The Game", and I told them not to say anything right away. Slowly smiles started forming on all their faces as they noticed that there was more to this painting than first meets the eye. Students were then instructed to draw their own "everyday scene" with lots of details. After their drawings were complete they had to go back and add more details that did not belong! The drawings were completed by tracing in fine point marker, and coloring and shading with colored pencils. 

Grade:  5th grade

Time:  two 60 min classes

Materials:
9"x12" white paper
pencils
Sharpie markers
crayons
watercolor paint

Learning Objectives:
 


Printmaking Hands

Students learned about the process of making art called "Printmaking". They discussed the difference between printmaking and painting. The students then drew a design by tracing their hand and filling in the "negative space" with patterns. They transferred their image into their Styrofoam plate, rolled the image with paint, and then printed it onto colored construction paper. 

Grade:  5th grade

Time: two 60 min classes

Materials:
6"x9" white paper
6"x9" styrofoam
pencils
9"x12" colored paper
block printing ink

Learning Objectives:
 


Quilled Paper Art

Students looked at examples of quilled paper and I demonstrated how to create different shapes and curls. Students then created their own quilled snowflakes or upper-case letters (their choice). They used rotational symmetry when creating their snowflake. 

Grade:  5th grade

Time: three 60 min classes

Materials:
9"x9" colored paper
quilled paper strips
Elmer's glue

Learning Objectives:
 


Op Art Name Design

Students reviewed the term "Op Art" that they learned when they were younger and they created a picture that can play tricks with your eyes. They wrote their name in cursive and then traced around and around their name as many times as it took to fill up the negative space on the paper. From far away it may look like a normal picture, but when you get up all close all the lines begin to "move" and play tricks on your eyes. 

Grade:  5th grade

Time: two 60 min classes

Materials:
9"x12" white paper
Sharpie markers

Learning Objectives:
 


Op Art Shading Blobs

Students reviewed the term "Op Art" that they learned when they were younger and they created a picture that can play tricks with your eyes.

Grade:  5th grade

Time: three 60 min classes

Materials:
9"x12" white paper
Sharpie markers
colored pencils

Learning Objectives:
 


Glass Window Drawing

 Students in fifth grade were  given the opportunity to create artwork on the courtyard windows. They needed to plan their artwork to be visible from both sides. They also needed to plan how their artwork would look with light shining through it.

Grade:  5th grade

Time:  one 60 min class

Materials:
Crayola window markers

Learning Objectives:
 


Falling for Foreshortening

Students learn about the concept of foreshortening through this fun drawing activity. Foreshortening is the optical illusion that occurs when a part of something moves from one part of space to another. For example... and bridge travels from right in front of us, to far away from us on the other side of a river. The same thing can happen on a smaller level with human limbs. For this project students traced their feet and hands on a paper. They then drew their arms, legs, body and head to create the illusion that the body was further away then the feet and hands. The images all end up looking like the subject is falling toward the viewer. 

Grade:  5th grade

Time: two 60 min classes

Materials:
12"x18" white paper
pencils
Sharpie markers
crayons

Learning Objectives:
 


Clay Maracas

 In this exciting clay lesson students created their own animal maracas. They first forms two pinch pots of approximately the same size. The, before joining those pinch pots together to form a ball they filled the inside with small balls of clay wrapped in newspaper. After they joined the two pinch pots together they poked a hole in the pinch pot to allow air to escape during the firing process. I tell kids they have to build something that can be completed in one class period so that I don't have to worry about storing the unfinished clay and keeping it moist.  The following week is for painting the underglaze colors on the unfired clay.  Then after the clay has dried for 10 days I bisque fire them, then I put on a clear glaze and refire them a second time before handing them back to the kids.

Grade:  5th grade

Time:  two 60 min classes

Materials:
clay
underglaze
clear glaze

Learning Objectives:
 


Autobiography Book Cover

5th graders finished painting their Autobiography Book Covers. They were not allowed to use their name in the title and they were encouraged to cone up with something that would make people want to read their "book". I showed them lots of examples of book covers, especially books that have had their covers redesigned to appeal to different audiences. 

Grade:  5th grade

Time:  two 60 min classes

Materials:
6"x9" white paper
pencils
Sharpie markers
crayons, markers, or watercolor paint

Learning Objectives:
 


Self Portraits

 Students in all grades at Hemenway School create Self Portraits in Mrs. Brown's art class.  Self Portraits are a great drawing project because it can teach students to draw beyond just what they think they see... but to draw what is really there.  All students were given a mirror to observe their facial features and look for small details.  As children grow older they progress through the 5 stages of artistic development (named by Viktor Lowenfeld).  Kindergarteners are usually somewhere between the "Scribble Stage" and the "Pre-schematic Stage".  As the students grow older they work their way through the artistic stages of "Schematic", "Dawning-Realism" and "Pseudo Realistic."  Though it can sometimes be tempting, it is very important not to rush young children through the early stages of artistic development.  Students in Grade K, 1 and 2 are full of creativity, and it is important to let students take their time so they can nurture their creative development. There is plenty of time in grades 3 and above to begin teaching them about the more technical aspects of drawing.

Grade:  5th grade

Time: one 60 min class

Materials:
9"x12" white paper
pencils
Sharpie markers
crayons

Learning Objectives:
 


Through a Window

To teach students to look at images in a way they were instructed to create an image with several depths of space.  They created an interior and an exterior within one image by drawing as if they were looking through a window.  

Grade:  5th grade

Time: two 60 min classes

Materials:
9"x12" white paper
pencils
Sharpie markers
watercolor paint

Learning Objectives:
 


1-Point Perspective Initials

To begin the unit on one-pint perspective students learned the basics about vanishing points. They practiced what they learned by drawing their initials and making the letters disappear off into the vanishing point in the center. 

Grade:  5th grade

Time:  one 60 min class

Materials:
9"x9" white paper
pencils
rulers
Sharpie markers
colored pencils

Learning Objectives:
 


1-point Perspective City

To continue their lesson on one-point perspective student learned about the horizon line which can be used along with the vanishing point to create a more accurate image depicting space.  After the introduction students were instructed to create a series of rectangles. Then they created a horizon line behind the rectangles. Then they chose their vanishing point somewhere along that line. Using rulers they completed their drawings and even added small details to make it more realistic. 

Grade:  5th grade

Time:  two-three 60 min classes

Materials:
12"x18" white paper
rulers
pencils
Sharpie markers (optional)

Learning Objectives:
 


Tooling Foil
Aztec Suns

To do this projects, the kids drew their design on paper first. Then taped their paper onto the foil. Then we placed a piece of felt underneath it all to create a cushion. The kids traced over their original drawings and it created an imprint in the tooling foil. After they were done tracing they could take the paper off and carve directly into the foil using their pencils. Semi-dull pencils work best. For adding shading we used tempera paint in the cracks and wiped off the excess. 

Grade:  5th grade

Time:  one 60 min class

Materials:
6"x6" white paper
pencils
6"x6" tooling foil
black tempera paint

Learning Objectives:
 


Tornado Collage

 Students review the different weather systems that they learned about in 5th grade Science class, and then they create a mixed media collage of a Tornado in the setting of their choice.

Grade:  5th grade

Time:  two-three 60 min classes

Materials:
12"x18" gray paper
assorted colored construction paper
pencils
scissors
Elmer's glue

Sharpie markers

Learning Objectives:

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