Art Lesson Plans

Lesson plans for middle and high school art teachers.
Art Lesson PLans for Middle and High School

Below you will find some of the award winning art lessons plans that I use in my classroom. These plans are designed for the secondary level and encourage students to reach their full potential as artists.  They give the students the confidence to succeed in art.  When using these lessons, be sure to think about the sequence of how they are presented.  Be sure that each activity and concept builds upon the last.  Many of these lessons can be adapted for middle school or college students.  Feel free to amend them to fit with the students that you teach.

The Ultimate Art Lesson Plans
Free art lesson plans

Art Lesson Plans for Beginning Students (Art 1)


Color Theory Lesson Plan
Students are exposed to color theory by creating a painting using tempera paint that is sectioned according to specific color themes.
Clay Figure Lesson Plan
Students construct a clay figure using "scoring a slipping".  A challenging assignment that requires developing the clay in various stages.
Figure Drawing Lesson Plan
Students create gesture drawings from live models, then work from photos to create a proportional figure drawing with oil pastels.
Object Self Portrait Lesson Plan
Students create a self portrait by assembling objects that represent their interests.  The completed drawing is finished with graphite on white drawing paper.
Pop Art Lesson Plan
After learning about artist, Roy Lichtenstein, students create their own Pop Art drawing using oil pastels, working from newspaper comic clippings.
Magazine Cover Lesson Plan
Students work as illustrators to create a magazine cover of their choosing.  Fonts must be matched and the cover is required to be completely original.
Students work from a still life to create a charcoal drawing that has a full range of value.  The surface is completely covered with charcoal and highlights are erased out.
Giant Junkfood Lesson Plan
Students work in small groups to create giant sculptures of food, modeled after artist, Claes Oldenburg.  Paper mache is used over an armature.
Pastel Landscape Lesson Plan
Students create a landscape using soft pastels, approaching the work using an ordered approach of layering the background, middle ground, and foreground.

Art Lesson Plans for Intermediate Students (Art 2 or 3)


Stippling Lesson Plan
Students work from two references to develop a drawing in which both images are clearly visible.  A challenging assignment finished by stippling with pen and ink.
Master Study Lesson PLan
Students are assigned a "Master Artist" to study.  Students complete a proportional copy of the assigned master artist using the same materials and techniques as the master.

Art Lesson Plans for Advanced Students (Art 4 or Advanced Placement)


The Ultimate Lesson Plans


Students will use their knowledge of line, line quality, and cross contour lines to create a finished line drawing using graphite and pen and ink. 8 Presentation slides, 3 Videos, 3 Handouts
Part One: Students will use their knowledge of positive and negative shapes to create an ink drawing that focuses only on positive and negative shapes of a still life.
Part Two:
 Students will draw 5 hands from direct observation using simple shapes on white drawing paper with soft graphite pencils. 14 Presentation slides, 3 Videos, 4 Handouts
Students will use their knowledge of shadow structure on objects to draw various forms and label shadow structure on them. 13 Presentation slides, 3 Videos, 4 Handouts
Part One Students will use their knowledge of value to draw an egg from observation on white drawing paper using soft graphite. The focus should be to create an accurate rendering of the egg using smooth gradations of value in order to create the illusion of form and light source.
Part Two Students will create a “highlight rendering” of a spotlit still life using vine charcoal, compressed black charcoal, and a kneaded eraser. Students should demonstrate an understanding of the full use of value in a drawing in order to create the illusion of form and light source. 13 Presentation slides, 3 Videos, 5 Handouts
Students will use their knowledge of linear perspective to create a 3-D maze using graphite and white drawing paper. 29 Presentation slides, 3 Videos, 11 Handouts
Students will arrange 3 – 5 paper bags in order to draw them from observation. (Students may photograph the arrangement to help remember the arrangement.) Students will draw the bags from observation concentrating on creating the illusion of accurate texture through the use of value. 10 Presentation slides, 2 Videos, 3 Handouts
Students will practice mixing colors and handling tempera paint by painting the “Activity Worksheets”. Students will use their knowledge of color theory to paint an object from multiple angles using 3 different color schemes. 29 Presentation slides, 1 Videos, 8 Handouts
Students will use soft and/or hard pastels to create a pastel landscape drawing of place with some personal significance to themselves. 18 Presentation slides, 3 Videos, 3 Handouts
Students will create a series of gesture drawings from observation using soft graphite pencils on newsprint paper. Students will use the knowledge gained from warm up activities to create a completed figure drawing with oil pastels. 23 Presentation slides, 3 Videos, 3 Handouts
Students will create small clay figures out of white or red earthenware. (If a kiln is not available, Air Dry Clay can be substituted) Students will work the clay in both the “wet” and “leather-hard” stages to create sculptures that support themselves. 9 Presentation slides, 2 Videos, 3 Handouts
Ultimate Lesson Plan - 3D Giant Junk Food
Students will work in groups or independently to create giant papier-mâché sculptures of junk food. Students will create over-sized sculptures that are a reflection of one form of popular culture - junk food. 9 Presentation slides, 1 Video, 3 Handouts
Ultimate Lesson Plan - Crayon Etching
The student will learn the process of crayon etching while gaining an understanding of a "resist". The student will learn how to incorporate pattern into art works. The student will learn the similarities and differences of regular patterns and irregular patterns. 14 Presentation slides, 1 Video, 4 Handouts
Ultimate Lesson Plan - Block Printing
The student will learn the process of relief printmaking by creating a series of hand-pulled prints carved from linoleum blocks. The student will learn to create balance between dark and light areas by creating a variety of lines and shapes in their prints. 16 Presentation slides, 1 Video, 5 Handouts
Ultimate Lesson Plan - Assemblage Sculpture
Students create robot sculptures from found objects. 7 Presentation slides, 1 Video, 2 Handouts
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