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March Spring Art Lessons

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I am a Christian. I was an 8th-grade American History teacher. I am currently a freelance writer, public speaker, & homeschooling mom of 9.

Spring Art Lessons for kindergarten and 1st grade: Butterfly paintings, bean mosaics, & glued quilt flower designs

Spring Art Lessons for kindergarten and 1st grade: Butterfly paintings, bean mosaics, & glued quilt flower designs

This is part of a series of 30 hands-on art lessons for Kindergarten and 1st grade. This covers the art lessons we completed in March. I used this plan while teaching a weekly 45 minute art class for children in Kindergarten and 1st grade. Each lesson includes an art concept and a variety of art techniques to make each lesson engaging & memorable. Use these fun lessons with your classroom, homeschool, after-school program, or co-op!

Spring Monarch Butterfly paintings on canvas

Spring Monarch Butterfly paintings on canvas

1) Sketch the butterfly:

  • Quickly mention to students that one of the ways artists will draw something is to simply look at the shapes that make up the bigger picture. We're going to do that today to sketch a surprise. I'm not going to tell you what we're going to draw. Just follow along with my directions.
  • Pass out to each student a small canvas.
  • Have students use a pencil to follow my instructions, which I speak and demonstrate. I walked them through sketching a butterfly, step by step. (I used the directions from Draw Write Now Book 6.) Emphasize the need to draw the shapes so they take up almost the whole canvas. If they mess up, they can simply erase it and re-draw the parts. (Note: We skipped the veins on the wings. Students can add those in later using paint if desired.)

2) Paint the background.

  • Pass out to each student a small palate of yellow, pink, & orange paint.
  • Have students swirl their paintbrushes through the colors. Do NOT mix all the paints together to make one color. Just gently swirly them a little bit to get some of each color.
  • Paint across your canvas. Keep painting until you run out of paint & then get more paint. Cover all the white on your canvas.

3) Paint the butterfly.

  • To each student's palate add orange paint.
  • Have students follow my lead in first painting the butterfly orange.
  • Next add black paint to their palates and hand out a smaller paintbrush. Have them use the smaller paintbrush to trace over all the pencil lines (the outline), antennae, and veins (optional).

You will need:

  • small canvas per student (I purchased them at Walmart.)
  • pencil per student
  • Draw Write Now Book 6 (optional)
  • large paintbrush per student
  • palate per student (such as paper plate)
  • small amounts of pink, yellow, & orange poster board or acrylic paints
  • cover for table (such as old newspaper or tablecloth)
  • thinner paintbrush per student (like the kind that comes with watercolor paint sets or an even thinner one)
  • orange & black poster board or acrylic paint
Pasta & Bean Paper Plate Mosaics

Pasta & Bean Paper Plate Mosaics

1. Introduce mosaics: Briefly discuss mosaics and quickly show some pictures of them from throughout history. Ask, "How are they different from a painting?"

2. Create outline sketches.

  • Pass out some examples of simple outlines of spring-type animals and plants to give students ideas on what they might sketch.
  • Pass out a paper plate to each student.
  • Have students use a pencil to sketch a basic outline in the center of their paper plate. Encourage them to draw it big and to not add small details.

3. Create the mosaics.

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  • Have students use generous amounts of Elmer's liquid glue to "draw" over the pencil outlines.
  • Then have them place dried beans and/or pasta over the outlines to create the pictures. They should try to cover as much of the paper plate as they can.

4. Add the hanging yarn.

  • As students finish, allow for them to use a hole punch to punch 2 holes toward the top of the paper plate.
  • Allow them to select a color of yarn and give them the piece of yarn to tie in each hole.
  • Note: If you think this step might be too difficult, you could do it ahead of time. Most of my students were able to do this on their own.

You will need:

  • some pictures of various mosaics
  • some simple outline pictures (such as flowers, butterflies, lizards, snakes, etc. - I printed them from online.)
  • paper plate per student
  • pencil per student
  • liquid Elmer's glue or tacky glue (1 bottle per student)
  • dried beans and/or dried pasta (I used pasta that I dyed various colors that was leftover from a different activity.)
  • at least 1 hole punch
  • yarn of various colors
  • scissors
Glued Quilt Flower Designs

Glued Quilt Flower Designs

1. Introduce quilts: Briefly discuss quilts and quickly show some pictures of various designs. Ask, "How are quilts different from other art we've studied? How are quilts similar to the types of art we've studied & done?"

2. Sketch the outline pattern.

  • Many times when someone creates the their quilt square, they start with a pattern.
  • Pass out an outline of a large flower.
  • Have students use a pencil to sketch the flower onto their paper.

3. Cut the scraps and glue them.

  • Allow for students to select fabric scraps and cut them into lots of small pieces.
  • Have them use tacky glue to glue the scraps over the flower pattern. Everyone should make sure they hide the pencil outline and cover it up with fabric.

4. Add the middle button.

  • Allow each student to select a button and then use a generous amount of glue to glue it to the center of the flower.

You will need:

  • some pictures of various quilt patterns
  • a simple 5-petal flower pattern for each student to trace
  • a piece of sturdy paper such as cardstock per student
  • a pencil per student
  • fabric scraps
  • a pair of scissors that can cut cloth per student
  • a bottle of tacky glue per student (or simply squirt it onto a small paper plate and have students use craft sticks to apply it to their papers)
  • large buttons

*Additional Ideas: If desired, have students add a paper picture frame around the edges of the picture if you'd like to use them for an art show. To use them as cards, have students fold the piece of cardstock in half and then glue the flower design to the front of the card.

  1. Self-Portraits (inspired by Van Gogh)
  2. Primary Colors & Secondary Colors (inspired by Claude Monet)
  3. Warm & Cool Colors (inspired by Georgia O'Keeffe)
  4. Tints & Shades (inspired by Pierre-Auguste Renoir)
  5. Abstract Art (inspired by Wassily Kandinsky)
  6. Landscapes (inspired by Henri Rousseau)
  7. One Point Perspective (inspired by Grant Wood)
  8. Still Life (inspired by Paul Cezanne)
  9. Decoupage Jack-o'-Lantern Craft (inspired by Halloween)
  10. Lines & Patterns (inspired by Paul Klee)
  11. Texture (inspired by Winslow Homer)
  12. Turkey Crafts (inspired by Thanksgiving)
  13. Painted Christmas Tree Cards (inspired by Christmas)
  14. January Art Lessons: Weaving & Winter (colors, lines, & patterns)
  15. Snowmen Surprise (value, tints, & shades)
  16. February Art Lessons (Valentine's Day and blow painting)
  17. Paper Collages (inspired by Henri Matisse)
  18. March Art Lessons (spring butterflies, bean mosaics, & glued quilt flowers)
  19. April Art Lessons (craft stick treasure boxes, April showers, & marbled shaving cream)
  20. All of My Hands-on Lessons & Unit Studies

© 2019 Shannon

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