RAGGEDY ANN AND ANDY Early Childhood
The Art Problem
The Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls
that my grandmother made for me
many years ago are used as the
focus for a drawing lesson about
the basic geometric shapes.
Students will demonstrate:
• recognition of the basic geometric shapes found in Raggedy Ann
and Andy dolls.
• effectively use the recognition of
geometric shapes and observation
to draw the dolls.
Raggedy Ann or Andy dolls (or
similar dolls made of simple
shapes), crayons, 12 x 18" (30.5 x
46 cm) manila paper, 4 or 5" (10
or 13 cm) circle templates (plastic
lids work well)
1. I introduce the dolls and ask
students if they know who they
are. I tell students my grandmother
made them for me when I was
their age. I ask students to name
the basic geometric shapes and
then find them in the dolls.
2. Materials are distributed and I
ask students to turn their papers
vertically and use the circle templates to trace two heads side by
side at the top of the paper.
3. Together we look at and talk
about the shape of each part of
the dolls (circles, squares, triangles,
rectangles, and ovals) and finish
drawing one doll at a time.
4. Students add details and background elements as desired.
Ask students to point out the geo-
metric shapes in their drawings.
Ask them to take the drawings
home and see if anyone in their
family recognizes the dolls.
By Nancy Walkup, an
art teacher at W.S. Ryan
Elementary in Denton, Texas.
PROCESS COLOR STILL LIFES High School
The Art Problem
Students will create a still-life
painting using color theory and
mark-making. Using an old soft
brush and their knowledge on
color intensity, students will
create a painting that exhibits
their understanding of light, value,
heavy drawing paper, gouache,
old soft brushes
Begin by giving students a theme
or prompt, and ask them to bring
in objects that they will set up
to create their own personal still
life. When developing prompts,
consider the availability of objects
and leaving the prompts open
enough to give students owner-
ship over their own themes. Some
examples would be: nature, toys,
fabric, containers, and tools. Once
students have set up their still life,
ask them to select a color scheme.
Now ask each student to create
a value study using a variety of
unblended marks. Review each
student’s samples and select the
one that creates the cleanest use
of color. As the example exhibits,
the simplest marks such as pressing the brush down and twisting it sometimes gives the best
finished product. Begin by asking
students to create a thumbnail on
their paper. Once the thumbnail
is approved, ask each student to
create another identical thumbnail
and test their color scheme to balance color and light. Once they
are satisfied, ask each student to
create a drawing and use simple
marks by layering value, color,
and light. It is important that they
allow their original thumbnails to
show on the finished piece to give
viewers an overall sense of the
Ask students to research an artist
such as Chuck Close or Georges
Seurat who utilized simplistic
marks to make a larger painting.
Have each student compare and
contrast how their marks and the
famous artist’s marks are similar
and how they are different.
By Nicole Brisco, an art teacher
at Pleasant Grove High School
in Texarkana, Texas.
FANTASY ROBOTS Middle School
The Art Problem
Invent a new machine by putting
together familiar objects in a new
way using a box of old kitchen
gadgets, assorted junk, and small
appliances as motivation and models for drawing.
Students will draw the parts of
gadgets by observation, combining
objects, and paying close attention
old kitchen gadgets, telephone or
television parts and the like, 12 x
18" (30.5 x 46 cm) white drawing paper, pencils, black markers,
watercolor paints, brushes, water
1. Show assorted gadgets to
students and ask what they think
was their purpose. Explain that
students will be drawing these
objects, connecting the different
parts to invent new machines.
Ask: What would you have your
machine do for you, or what tasks
would you want your machine to
2. Distribute materials. Have stu-
dents begin with pencil drawings,
outline the pencil in marker, and
then paint the machines with
Ask students to explain the func-
tions of their machines in writing.
Display the finished artworks
alongside the written explanations.
By Susan Varga, an art teacher
at Horace Mann School in
PAINTING WITH LIGHT Middle School
The Art Problem
After visiting Europe and seeing
many cathedrals and their awe-inspiring stained glass, I wanted to
share them with my students and
explain that the windows were
designed to be understood by people who were unable to read the
written word. I designed this lesson
so my students could create their
own versions of stained glass.
8.5 x 11" (22 x 28 cm) white
paper, clear acetate sheets the
same size, masking tape, permanent black markers, torn pieces
of colored tissue paper, gel gloss
1. Have students draw a piece of
their own history—thing or event,
family members, or pets—on the
white paper, using only lines. Next
have them lay a piece of the acetate over their drawings and tape it
on two sides. Ask students to draw
over their lines with a black permanent marker.
2. Tell students to turn over the
acetate and to paint the acetate
with gel gloss, placing a layer of
colored tissue paper over the wet
gloss, and then adding another
thin layer of gloss medium. Remind
students to use vivid colors of tis-
sue and to work with just a small
section at a time. Let dry when the
acetate is completely covered.
Ask students to write a short
description about the subject of
their artworks and display the writ-
ing alongside the artwork.
By Karen Skophammer, an art
specialist for Manson North-west Webster Schools, Barnum
and Manson, Iowa.