4th Grade Art Lessons

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A Bugs Life

In art class students are encouraged to look at the world in a new way. For this project they created a landscape from a bug's point of view. They were encouraged to be creative, and some students even used dialogue! They were told to consider the use of scale when drawing their bugs and the bug's surroundings (picnic table, grass, indoors, outdoors, etc.) They also explored the technique of using crayon and watercolor paint resist. 

Grade:  4th grade

Time:  two 60 min classes

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

Learning Objectives:
 


Color Wheel Mixing

Students created an abstract painting that has a color wheel hidden inside of it. They were given only red, yellow, blue, and black paint to complete this assignment. Since they were given the three primary colors they were able to mix all of the other colors. Once their color wheel was done they disguised it by surrounding it with lots of colors, lines and patterns. Can you find the color wheel in each picture? 

Grade:  4th grade

Time: three 60 min classes 

Materials:
12"x18" white paper
pencils
rulers
tempera paint (magenta, yellow, blue, black)

Learning Objectives:
 


Circle Patterns ~ Rotational Symmetry

 4th grade students learn the term "rotational symmetry" in their math class, so for a cross curriculum connection we do a series of projects involving rotational symmetry. In this project students used a compass to draw perfect concentric circles in which they drew small pictures or patterns that rotated around the circle. They colored in their drawings with markers and did their best to be consistent with their coloring.

Grade:  4th grade

Time:  two 60 min classes

Materials:
12"x12" white paper
pencils
Sharpie markers
colored markers or crayons
compass or circle tracers

Learning Objectives:
 


Clay Trivets ~ Rotational Symmetry

This project is a follow-up to the Circle Pattern drawing. The students dive deeper into rotational symmetry and this time create a clay trivet or wall hanging. They use impression or stamping techniques to make patterns into the clay, then they use under glazes or glazes to add color to their piece. 

Grade:  4th grade

Time: two 60 min classes

Materials:
clay
glaze

Learning Objectives:
 


Circle Weaving ~ Rotational Symmetry

This project is a follow-up to the Circle Pattern drawing and the clay trivets. The students dive deeper into rotational symmetry and this time create yarn weaving or wall hanging. Students took sturdy paper plates and measured every 19 slits completely around the plate. They then connected  one side to another all the way around the plate to create the warp. They they spiral-weaved out from the center of the plate. Students were encouraged to use a variety of colors. 

Grade:  4th grade

Time:  three 60 min classes

Materials:
paper plates
yarn
scissors

Learning Objectives:
 


Rotational Name Design ~ Rotational Symmetry

Students explored the idea of rotational symmetry even further with this challenging but fun name design project. This project gave students a chance to practice drawing block letters and other types of script. They also had to think about rotational name design. 

Grade:  4th grade

Time:  two 60 min classes

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

Learning Objectives:
 


Magazine Weaving

Weaving is an important skill and also a challenging one.  For this project we start off with an image from a magazine, We draw lines going one way on the magazine, and the other way on a piece of black paper. One by one we cut strips off the magazine and weave it into the black paper. If we get all the strips lined up correctly our image will show up in our weaving. 

Grade:  4th grade

Time: two 60 min classes

Materials:
magazines
black construction paper
pencils
rulers
scissors

Learning Objectives:
 


Looper Looms

Another weaving project! This time using those Looper Looms from the 80's!  It is a fun way for kids to create a pot holder, something they can keep or give as a gift, while also practicing the important skill of weaving! Great exercise for those finger muscles too! 

Grade:  4th grade

Time:  two-three 60 min classes

Materials:
Looper Looms
nylon loops

Learning Objectives:
 


Andy Warhol ~ Pop Art Logos

 Students reviewed the artwork of the American artist Andy Warhol. They chose a logo from popular culture and made their own carbon paper to draw the logo four times. They used different color combinations to color in their logo: Real Colors, Complimentary Colors, Primary Colors, and Wacky Colors. This is reminiscent of many of Warhol's screenprints, such as the famous print titled "Marilyn Monroe". Students noticed Warhol's vibrant use of color in his images, and they used bright markers to color in their own pictures.

Grade:  4th grade

Time: two 60 min classes

Materials:
12"x12" white paper
pencils
Sharpie markers
colored markers or crayons

Learning Objectives:
 


Contour Line Partner Portraits

 This is a very challenging lesson for fourth grade students, but they always amaze me at how well they do.  Contour line drawings are pictures where you are not allowed to lift your pencil at all. The picture is made with one continuous line.  For this lesson the students paired up and drew their partner two times. They took their favorite of the two drawings and finished the look by going over their line with sharpie marker and adding color with tempera cake paint.

Grade:  4th grade

Time:  two-three 60 min classes

Materials:
12"x18" cream colored paper
newsprint for sketches
pencils
Sharpie markers
watercolor paint

Learning Objectives:
 


Koru Spiral Plant

Fourth grade students study plants as a major part of their curriculum. To reinforce what they are learning about plants we discussed the parts of a plant, or plants seed, and how they grow. They were then introduced to a unique plant called the "Koru", and also the artwork of Raewyn Harris. They created watercolor paintings on professional watercolor paper in the style of Raewyn Harris. We reviewed watercolor techniques, and they also learned some new technique of shading and blending colors. 
Inspired by wkeartsmarts.blogspot.com

Grade:  4th grade

Time: three 60 min classes

Materials:
140lb watercolor paper
pencils
Sharpie markers
watercolor paint

Learning Objectives:
 


Jasper Johns Style State Flags

Since fourth grade students study the 50 states I was able to create a curriculum connection using Jasper John's as inspiration. Each student is assigned their own state.  They were introduced to the artwork of Johns, particularly his Flag series. Then they had to draw/paint their state flag and make it look like it is 3 flags stacked on top of eachother. This lesson has been really great practice for students "drawing what they see". We don't allow tracing of course, but we do show them strategies of measuring and placement.  I printed out all 50 states at CVS on 4x6 photos so the students could have an images to look at. Then they traced two rectangles onto their paper. They started drawing the center flag first, then the second one, then the outer one. We painted them with watercolors. (I let them use tiny markers for the really small details). then we glued on skinny strips of black paper for the outlines. 

Grade:  4th grade

Time: three 60 min classes

Materials:
12"x18" white paper
pencils
rulers
Sharpie markers
examples pf each state flag
watercolor paint
colored markers

Learning Objectives:
 


Design a State Stamp

 As an extension of their "50 States" unit students each designed their own postage stamp to go along with their state. The postage stamps were done on large scale stamp-shaped cardstock. For their drawings they were instructed to fill the entire space, and also consider what is important about their state that could be represented on the stamp.

Grade:  4th grade

Time: two-three 60 min classes

Materials:
stamp shaped paper (available online)
pencils
Sharpie markers
crayons

Learning Objectives:
 


Tessellations

Students create their own tessellation by first making a shape tracer that can be repeated over and over and over again. It technically could go on forever.  This is harder than it looks to get started. Once they get going students are amazed how their drawing falls into place.  They can choose a color scheme if they want, but they are encouraged to make sure no two shapes of the same color are touching. 

Grade:  4th grade

Time: three 60 min classes

Materials:
12"x18" white paper
oak-tag
pencils
Sharpie markers
colored markers or crayons

Learning Objectives:
 


Shrinky Dink Caricatures

Students practiced creating a fun self portrait in the caricature style. They created many sketches and experiment with different poses and facial expressions before selecting their favorite. They traced their favorite onto 'shrinky dink' paper, which was then shrunk down for them to take home. 

Grade:  4th grade

Time: one-two 60 min classes

Materials:
shrinky-dink paper
newsprint
pencils
colored pencils

Learning Objectives:
 


Hand Henna

 Students discussed the ceremonial traditions of the Indian Culture and learned about hand henna. They then created drawings by tracing their hand numerous times and filling in the shapes with patterns. Though traditional hand henna does not use colors, some students chose to use limited colors in their drawings.

Grade:  4th grade

Time: one 60 min class

Materials:
12"x18" tan paper
pencils
Sharpie markers
colored markers

Learning Objectives:
 


Egyptian Sarcophagus and Cartouche

 Students learned the importance of the Egyptian sarcophagus and cartouche. The Egyptians felt that mummification was important because they believed that the dead would need their body in the afterlife. They believed that everlasting life could be ensured by being pious to the gods, and mummifying the dead. Pharaohs were rich and important Egyptian Kings and their sarcophaguses were often embellished with intricate designs and hieroglyphics. Students imagined that they were once an Egyptian Pharaoh and they designed their own sarcophagus that showed and understanding of symmetry and balance. 

Grade:  4th grade

Time: two 60 min classes

Materials:
12"x18" tan paper
pencils
Sharpie markers
hieroglyphic "cheat sheet"
construction paper crayons

Learning Objectives:
 


Stained Glass Tissue Paper

Student made their own double sided stained glass using black construction paper and colored tissue paper.  This is a very challenging project because it requires the students to make very small cuts with no entry point into the paper.... not to mention the fact that they have to do it twice, once for each side of black paper. But, in the end their efforts are all worthwhile because the stained glass looks stunning when hung in a window. 

Grade:  4th grade

Time: three 60 min classes

Materials:
9"x12" black paper (two pieces)
tissue paper
pencils
scissors

Learning Objectives:
 


Modern Mona Lisa

For this project students studied the composition of the famous "Mona Lisa" painting by Leonardo DaVinci. They created their own version of the Mona Lisa by posing her in a similar style but changing elements of the image to make it their own. It was amazing how many creative solutions the students were able to come up with! 

Grade:  4th grade

Time: two-three 60 min classes

Materials:
12"x18" white paper
print outs of the Mona Lisa
pencils
Sharpie markers
watercolor paints

Learning Objectives:
 


Mardi Gras Masks

One of the students' favorite projects in fourth grade is the Mardi Gras Masks.  We discuss the history of the celebration before we begin constructing our masks.  They take almost a month to complete. We start by using plaster craft to form the shape of the mask using a mold. Then we paint the mask a solid color before going back and painting patterns and details. The third class involves adding extra embellishments to get the mask really ready for Mardi Gras. We try to time this project so it coincides with the Mardi Gras celebration. 

Grade:  4th grade

Time: three 60 min classes

Materials:
plaster-craft
plastic face-shaped molds
watercolor paints
assorted knick knacks (buttons, etc...)

Learning Objectives:
 


Coil Portraits

 Students learned about coils and coil pots when they were in third grade. For this project they had to take coils to a new level. They were challenged to create a portrait using coils made out of model magic. They were also able to use Elmer's glue to help hold it together. When they portraits were dry and hardened they painted them with tempera cakes.

Grade:  4th grade

Time: two 60 min classes

Materials:
Model Magic
12"x18" white paper
scissors
Elmers Glue
markers

Learning Objectives:
 


Pointillism Landscape

 Students have experiment with pointillism since the first grade, but now it is time to try something a little more challenging.  They will create a simple landscape drawing using pencil, very lightly, and then fill in their picture using the pointillism technique. The challenge to their project is that the entire thing must be done only using "dots", much like the artist George Seurat.  From a distance the colors come together to form the patterns, lines and shapes. It is a time consuming project that helps teach students patience and discipline.  When they are complete the students are always very proud of the work they did!

Grade:  4th grade

Time: two 60 min classes

Materials:
6"x9" white paper
pencils
skinny colored markers

Learning Objectives:
 


Pen and Ink Shoe or Sneaker

Using pen and ink techniques students used their observational drawing skills to capture all of the small details of their shoe or sneaker.  They experimented with hatching, cross hatching and stippling to creating values and implied texture. 

Grade:  4th grade

Time:  two 60 min classes

Materials:
9"x12" white paper
pencils
Sharpie markers (skinny and regular)

Learning Objectives:
 


Gustav Klimts Tree of Life

Grade:  4th grade

Time: two 60 min classes

Materials:
12"x18" white paper
tissue paper in warm colors
tempera paint (black, white, brown)

Learning Objectives:
 


Silhouette Self Portrait

Grade:  4th grade

Time: three 60 min classes

Materials:
12"x18" white paper
12"x18" colored paper
pencil
Sharpie markers
watercolor paint
colored markers

Learning Objectives:
 

 
Mini Mosaic

Students view examples of mosaics from all around the world and then are given the opportunity to create their own mini-mosaic using kid safe materials.

Grade:  4th grade

Time: three 60 min classes

Materials:
6"x6" black foam core
foamies in assorted colors
Elmer's glue
scissors

Learning Objectives:
 


ABC Stained Glass

This is an extension of a project students may have done in 2nd grade. They will create an image that somewhat resembles stained glass, but this time they will include the entire block letter alphabet.  This project gives students a chance to practice drawing block letters. They are taught several different techniques. It also gives them a chance to practice painting slowly and carefully in many small areas. 

Grade:  4th grade

Time: two 60 min classes

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

Learning Objectives:
 

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