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Fifth Grade Art Kits - Descriptions & Links to Lesson Plans

4 months ago

Abstract Portraits

Students examine abstract artwork by Picasso and Jim Schoppert, discuss why an artist might choose to do abstract work, and create an abstract portrait using oil pastels. Students base their portraits on face photos that show extreme emotions.

Amason's Whimsical Animals

Students look at the whimsical animal paintings of Alvin Amason, an Alaskan Native artist. Students begin their own animal paintings using basic shapes and playful color choices, adding large brush strokes in his painting style.

American Portraits

Students learn about portraits and draw an interesting American. They use a grid and their math skills to help them see and draw the portrait, one square at a time. Photos are provided of many interesting Americans—students may find and substitute a different photo. Grid drawing is a technique that can be applied to helping a student draw many things. 

Andy Goldsworthy; Art from the Earth

Students study Andy Goldsworthy, a British artist who transforms nature into art, photographs it, and lets it return to nature. They then go outside to create art from only nature -- no tools allowed! When done, they photograph their work and write about the art they made and the process they used.

Andy Warhol Pop Art

Students look at Pop Art by Andy Warhol and others, discussing the presence and purpose of art in media. Students learn to draw a 3-D cylinder, which becomes a can, and using tempera cakes, students create a Pop Art poster of a large can featuring images from current media.

Bicycles; Art on the Move

Students learn about the history of the bicycle.  They work through the artist process by drawing a bicycle from memory, by observation, using tools and then from memory again.  They arrange their drawings into a collage for display.

Capitol Idea

After studying samples of architecture and existing state capitol buildings around the U.S., students re-model the Alaska State Capitol, using drafting  tools for arches and angles.

Crazy Hair Day

Students learn the proportions of a human face and practice these and other tips for drawing faces in a self-portrait. Students add “crazy hair” to this portrait, and write the names of people who have taught them something into the hair. Texture and value are added to the hair with cross-hatching and patterns.

Diatoms; Microscopic Jewels

Students are introduced to the 17th century Dutch scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, the microscope he developed, his discoveries and his methods of recording those discoveries. They create a colorful microscopic view of diatoms using watercolors and black crayon 'resist.'


In this digital lesson, students learn what fonts are, how they communicate, and how fonts are organized into font families. They make informed designed choices and use a Chromebook to create a business card for their dream job.

Formline and Beyond with Jim Schoppert

Students learn about the non-traditional work of Jim Schoppert, Tlingit artist.  They create a cut-paper printing plate of a non-traditional design using traditional Northwest Coast formline shapes. They make prints from this plate using a method of oil pastels and heat caused by friction. Students mount and name their abstract art.

Georgia O'Keeffe Meets Mark Kelley

Students study American artist, Georgia O’Keeffe, and local photographer, Mark Kelley.  With deer bones as models, students draw from observation, then place their bone in a southeast Alaska landscape provided by Mark Kelley calendar pages.  Students enjoy finding just the right “focal point” for their picture, using the hole in the bone as a view finder. 

Inside and Outside of Me

Students consider prejudice and tolerance by exploring ways in which we are all alike. They then learn about four “artist heroes” who drew their creative strength from accepting and nurturing their personal differences. Students investigate the concept of tolerance by creating an “inside and outside of me self-portrait” using words, color, and pattern.

Layout Design: Tlingit Words

Students learn basics about graphic design while learning and sharing seven words in the Tlingit language.  The create a poster which they feels communicates the meaning of a Tlingit word, through the artistic choices they make Download this lesson planabout layout, font, color and images.

Michaelangelo's Hands

Students study the life of the Italian Renaissance artist Michelangelo, focusing on two of his best-known works, the marble sculpture Pieta and a small part of the Sistine Chapel ceiling. They create a modeled or shaded drawing of their hand in a sign language position, cut it out and mount it pop-up style to look like a piece of sculpture.

Mini-History Museum

Students learn folding and cutting techniques to make window box exhibits, a Mini- History Museum. A power point tells the story of the Japanese internment. Their window box art shows what they think this event in history might have been like, especially for the Japanese American children from Juneau. (This window box lesson could be adapted for another subject in History, Science or Language Arts .) 

Monochromatic Mystery

Students are inspired by Chris Van Allsburg’s Caldecott award winning artwork and mysterious style.  They draw a common object using tints and shades and place it in an unusual setting.  Students follow the pattern of Van Allsburg’s “Mysteries of Harris Burdick,” and write a title and mystery sentence to go with their artwork.  The finished piece is a monochromatic color scheme.

Native American Pottery

Native American pottery is one way we learn about indigenous cultures. After looking at a variety of pottery photos, students create a piece of pottery using the slab and coil technique.  They consider the “function” or what they want the container to hold, and create the “form” of their pottery with that in mind.

Northern Migrations

Students discuss northern migrations and study photos and artwork showing migrations of cranes, caribou and salmon.  They consider design elements that create a sense of movement before using watercolors, oil pastel and cut paper stencils to create a mixed media artwork of cranes, salmon or caribou in motion.

Northern Team Spirit: AWG Logo

Students will be introduced to the graphic artist who design the 2014 Arctic Winter Games (AWG) logo. They replicate an image of the logo by creating templates of raven, stars, and soaring lines before tracing them.  An impression of stained glass will be achieved by outlining the shapes and filling the areas with the colors of the AWG.

Northwest Coast Formline Design

An art kit created by Sealaska Heritage Institute and provided with their permission to the Juneau School District Teachers: "In this project we give your students an introduction to formline design shapes and definitions, the importance of balance in the design form and to ways an experienced Native artist would compose a formline design. We then provide them with tools to create their own formline design."

Paper Quilts

Students work in small cooperative groups to agree on a set of artistic “rules” regarding a species of butterfly.  Each child then makes a cut paper collage that follows those rules, and the group displays their unique, but similar artworks in a group “paper quilt.” It is recommended that students get the opportunity to experience this lessonn both as a fourth grader and as a fifth grader.

Plains Indians Ledgerbooks

Students learn that the history of the Plains Indians is recorded in their art, specifically, drawings done in the recycled ledgerbooks traded from white settlers.  Students make a simple, abstracted image, with charcoal, on recycled phonebook pages, that show a possible event in the day of the life of a Plains Indian. Students describe the event in writing.

Plein Air Postcards

In this indoor lesson, students mimic the art of painting outdoors, "plein air painting."  They learn to show "perspective" in a landscape. Using special paintbrushes which hold water, they make a small watercolor sketch landscape of a region of the U.S.  These can be used as postcards.  The lesson is a perfect way to prepare students to paint while on a class field trip.

Raven's Tail Motif

Students learn the importance of Raven’s Tail robes in the recording of Tlingit history. They learn to recognize motifs as a design element.  Students then create a concentric motif and stamp it on to a “raven’s tail” robe.

Remembering ANCSA:  Collectibles  in Clay

Create a small clay sculpture to represent an Alaskan native corporation, using corporate logos for inspiration. Recognize the logos of Alaska native corporations are designed to represent specific Alaskan regions, their cultures, strengths, and pride, today and in the future.  Carve, and build with slab, coil and pinch-pot techniques.

Sewing Model Cells

In this lesson, students practice simple sewing techniques and sewing vocabulary. Using felt, buttons, beads and yarn, they create a model cell, “sewing” cell anatomy into their memory! An “artful thinking” questioning exercise leads them into the project. 

Standing Forms

Students discuss “form” and how artists create sculptures that can balance and stand. Students collaborate in pairs to create a paper sculpture which can stand on it’s own. They add embellishment with colored construction paper.

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