IMAGINARY POP-UP ANIMAL Early Childhood
The Art Problem
This activity teaches students how
to create three-dimensional artwork
Students will design an imaginary
animal by creating a pop-up card or
9 x 12"( 23 x 30 cm) construction
paper (two sheets per student),
pencil, ruler, scissors, glue, markers,
crayons, scrap fabric
1. Explain to students that they will
be designing and creating their own
imaginary animal that has a three-
dimensional moving mouth. Show
photos of animals and discuss their
features such as fur, eyes, ears, and
legs. Ask: What features would an
imaginary animal have?
2. Fold one piece of paper in half.
3. Place a ruler perpendicular to
4. Draw a straight line about 2"
( 5 cm) long.
5. Keeping the paper folded, cut on
6. Carefully fold back the paper
from each side of the cut to create
a triangular opening.
7. Unfold the folds to close the triangular opening.
8. Open the card and carefully push
out the upper and lower folds to
create a bulging “mouth.”
9. Add details to create an imaginary animal.
10. Glue the second paper to the
back of the first.
Encourage students to talk about
the details that make their animals
By Ashton Mochamer, an art
education student at Northern
GOING DOTTY! Middle School
The Art Problem
Pointillism is a method of repre-
senting a subject as a collection of
colors. The artwork is composed of
dots as opposed to solid fields of
Students will interpret an everyday
object using pointillism.
everyday objects such as scissors or
plastic flatware, white construction
paper, drawing pencils, markers
(primary colors only), erasers
1. Explain to students that pointil-
lism is a method of art-making that
creates an optical illusion. By plac-
ing a series of various colored dots
side by side, the illusion of another
color appears. For example, red
and yellow dots placed alongside
each other produce the illusion of
2. Distribute the everyday objects.
Using the drawing pencils, ask stu-
dents to lightly trace an object. They
should trace the object three times,
positioning it differently each time.
Make sure that each tracing over-
laps another in at least one place.
3. Select one primary color marker
and completely fill one of the trac-
ings with dots. Take care that the
colored dots do not touch. Repeat
this process with each tracing, each
time using a different primary color.
4. When the traced areas are com-
pletely filled with individual colors
of dots, encourage students to
experiment with methods of plac-
ing dots closer together to create
depth. Erase all pencil marks.
Use cotton swabs and paint instead
By Laura Sutton, a senior art
education major at Northern
PERSONAL SYMBOLS MASK Elementary
The Art Problem
This mask-making activity teaches
elementary students to use per-
sonal symbols to create a three-
By incorporating their own sym-
bols, students will learn to express
meaning through art.
tag board, assorted decorative
1. Ask students to think about the
symbols they see each day such as
traffic signs or signs throughout
2. Explain that symbols can
reveal things about people. Invite
students to list activities such as
soccer, drawing, or singing. What
symbols represent each activity?
3. Tell students to make a list of
their favorite activities and to draw
possible symbols for the activity.
4. Distribute tag board. Instruct
students to draw and cut out the
basic shape of their masks.
5. Use markers or paint to cover
the mask shape with a design.
6. Provide scrap construction paper
and decorative materials such as
feathers, raffia, and ribbon to cre-
ate symbols. Students may bring
their own materials if they choose.
7. Once completed, ask students
to discuss their classmates’ masks.
What symbols do they see? What
could they mean? How do they
By Jesse Bradley, an art education student at Northern Arizona University.
ABSTRACT SHAPES High School
The Art Problem
To design an abstract painting that
explores structure through the ele-
ments and principles of design.
white objects such as paper plates,
ribbons, Styrofoam cups, and plas-
tic utensils; pencils; 9 x 12" ( 23 x
30 cm) and 24 x 36" ( 61 x 91 cm)
paper; viewfinder constructed from
lightweight cardboard; acrylic paint;
1. Demonstrate setting up a still life
with all the white objects. Objects
may be altered through tearing,
bending, cutting. Place objects on
the white paper. Direct a source of
light to create shadows/highlights.
2. Make a contour drawing of the
entire still life.
3. Use the viewfinder to focus in on
a detailed part of the still life, exam-
ining for complexity of composition.
4. Make a second drawing of this
detailed part of the still life on 9 x
5. Evaluate for composition paying
attention to design principles and
use of space.
6. Enlarge drawing to a 24 x 36"
contour drawing on heavy white
7. Using a complementary color
scheme and complementary shad-
ing techniques, add color to the
composition. Observe balance in
Create a rubric and use it to assess
composition through occurrence of
elements and design principles, use
of complementary color scheme,
and modeling through value
By Caroline Long, art teacher
at Goochland High School in