Say What?! I Gotta Teach Art?!

I loved art as a kid. I was never really good at it, but I enjoyed doodling, drawing, and creating. I had art teachers that weren't too crazy, but they had some memorable projects that I remember sitting in my mom's china hutch for many years.

Fast forward 15 years or so, in my first year of teaching, and I find out that the school I will teach at does not have an art teacher. Luckily, one of my team members had a degree in art and was very knowledgeable and amazing at it. We departmentalized during that part of the day- I taught health, the other 3 teachers taught science, social studies, and science to all the third graders on a rotation. Now, I wasn't a health expert, but I had resources to go from, so I was happy.

Then, we discovered that 3rd grade would go down to 3 sections due to a low class size coming up. Our teammate who was great at art was moved. Since social studies and science had solid curriculum, we wanted to keep them separate. I would be the one to have to teach both health AND art in my second year.

Remember, I love creating art- I didn't feel very confident in TEACHING art. I didn't just want to do little crafts- although they are fun, I wanted to still bring some meat to it. Luckily, my old teammate shared some resources (she had to teach health now- so we did some swapping- win win!) and we began our first unit: Line Designs

I used her resources to create some of these work pages to help students practice 4 basic elements to prepare for our line design project (for some reason I missed the Shape page- I'll try to update it later)

We first talked about lines- what a line is in art, different kinds, etc.  Here are a few work samples:

We did shapes next, learning about geometric and organic shapes. After, we learned about value. They tried creating 3 different value continuums by shading, using dots, and using lines. 

 Then, we learned about textures- both simulated (we learned simulated are textures that are similar to what the object looks like in real life) and invented (invented comes from our imagination).

 This element was the hardest for students to try to be creative with their invented textures. It got them exploring though, and that is what matters at this point.

 Once we completed these pages, we were ready to begin planning our line designs. Students filled in 5 different boxes with 5 different textures. I numbered the boxes, as this will come in handy later. They used their line, shape, value, and texture page to help inspire them.

We then did 4 boxes of different values - moving from light to dark.

I will repeat this lesson with two more classes before students begin their line design project. I'll post final projects later. I feel pretty good about the first unit, with much thanks to my old teammate for giving me the basics I needed to jump in! If you find yourself needing to teach art in your elementary classroom, check out my art basics combo pack in my TpT store. The 4 sheets cover lines, shape, value, and texture!



  1. This looks amazing! We no longer have an art teacher in our district either and I do NOT feel very qualified to teach it. I am so thankful for those who are more artistic and can share their skills with those of us who are not. :)
    On the Trail of Learning

    1. Completely agree, Kay! I was dreading it! So thankful for my old teammate. So far, this unit is going better than I could have imagined. I'll keep ya posted on how the end results come out! Thanks for your kind comment :)


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