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A Theme-Based Yearlong Curriculum
      J - K - l
January 2010
      Grade 1
The Letter K ~ Kool Kats with Klee

1. Students look closely at artworks by Paul Klee.

2. Students are shown how to draw a cat in the style of Paul Klee, paying close attention to lines and shapes.

3. Students are given a piece of paper and write their names on the back.

4. Students draw a large cat on their paper using lines and shapes with a permanent black marker. (They spend too much time erasing so I don’t give them a pencil for this lesson. I remind them they are artists/problem solvers and can change their line if they don’t like it by being creative.)

5. Students add their cat details, including eyes, whiskers, claws, tail and collar, plus background clouds, etc.

6. Students color areas with oil pastel, learning blending techniques. They are only given the cool colors, but can add warm colors to the collar.

7. Once the oil pastel has been added, students paint the cat and the background using a cool color palette in a watercolor wash.

8. Students name their cat and add a story about their cat as an extension..


First-grade students will ...
• look closely at several images from Paul Klee, especially his cat paintings.
• use lines and shapes to create their own “Kat” using Klee’s style for inspiration.
• blend and color with a cool palette using oil pastels and watercolors.


• Visual examples of Paul Klee’s art
• 12" x 18" drawing paper
• Permanent black markers
• Oil pastels
• Cool color watercolor palette
• Brushes
• Water cups

      Grade 1
The Letter H ~ Haring’s Hokey Hats


1. Students are asked to think about what they look like.

2. Students are given samples of hats through time to see how they have changed and what they tell about people.

3. Students draw their portraits again, reiterating the first lesson of this unit.

4. Students are given a demo about how to draw the lines and shapes that make a hat.

5. Students are shown the art of Keith Haring and look for the patterns.

6. Students draw the shape of a creative hat on construction paper.

7. Students cut shapes out of construction-paper and glue these onto the hat in a pattern.

8. Students print a pattern onto their hats using up-and-down hand motions.

9. Students color layer with construction paper crayons, filling their art in with color.

10. Students finally pattern—alternating in A-B-A–style—three foam shapes and add puffy paint to complete their hokey hats inspired by Keith Harin


Hang students’ art in class exhibits and have students sign their name to the art. Discuss the importance of hats throughout time, as well as the relevance of art and math and how closely related they are in terms of pattern design.


First-grade students will ...
• think about the patterned art of Keith Haring.
• look at hats throughout time.
• use various media and techniques on one piece of artwork.


• Permanent and regular markers,
multicultural and construction-paper crayons
• 8.5" x 8.5" white paper
• Visual samples of hats and of Haring’s art
• Construction paper
• Scissors and glue
• Tempera paint
• Sponges
• Foam shapes


Art History

      Grade 2
The Letter K ~ Kandinsky Kreations


1. Students are asked to look at and think about the art created by Wassily Kandinsky.

2. Students are told to listen to some classical music and think about the elements of art, specifically color, line and shape.

3. Students select three oil pastel colors, and as they listen to the music for the second time, create a line design on their paper with the selected oil pastels.

4. Students then discuss the shapes they have “magically” created with their line designs.

5. Students paint the shapes they have created with a warm watercolor palette.

6. On day two, students paint the unpainted shapes with a cool watercolor palette until the piece is completed.

7. Students then take a black oil pastel and draw two dark, thick lines from side to side.

8. Students use a ruler and measure their paper horizontally in 3-inch increments, ending up with three rectangles, and cut these rectangles out.

9. Students mix these pieces up and glue them down onto their colored paper, with a half-inch space in between each one for a complete composition of color, line and shape, creating a triptych effect.

10. Students aid the teacher in creating a Kandinsky installation of their art. Large music notes can accompany the installation.


Second-grade students will ...
• think about the art of the Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky.
• think about the impact music plays in selected artworks.


• 9" x 16" white drawing paper
• CD of classical music
• Ruler
• Pencils
• Oil pastels
• Brushes
• Kandinsky prints
• Watercolors
• Glue
• Water cups
• 12" x 18" colored paper
• Scissors


Art elements
Cool colors
Warm colors


Grade 3
The Letter J ~ Jasper Johns Collages




1. Students are asked to look at the artwork created by Jasper Johns.

2. Students think of an American symbol and practice drawing contour lines of the image.

3. Students collage ripped pieces of maps onto their drawing paper.

4. Students then draw their line drawing onto the collage using permanent markers.

5. Students color in their image using oil pastels, making sure to blend well so the map comes through lightly.

6. Students sponge paint around the image, using two colors, and can scratch paint lines out of the paint using the end of their paintbrush.

7. Students oil pastel again, blending around the border.

8. Students choose stencil letters and spell out a word that will be spray painted around the image.

9. The art is hung in a student installation.


Third-grade students will ...
• think about the art of Jasper Johns, native Georgia artist and modern art master.
• learn about the art of collage.


• 9" x 12" white drawing paper
• Prints of Jasper Johns’ art
• Gold and black spray paint
• Old discarded maps
• Permanent black markers
• Tempera paint
• Sponges
• Oil pastels
• Glue
• Stencils


Grade 4-5
The Letter L ~ Line Mural: A Dot Going on a Walk



1. Students are asked to look at and think about lines in art.

2. Students are told that “a line is a dot going for a walk,” an expression coined by Paul Klee.

3. Students discuss collaborative art and, during this lesson, are shown how each person’s art is an extension of another.

4. Students begin by aiding the teacher in making a large scale “model” of the final piece, determining how to number their art. Since the entire fourth grade (144 students total) is doing this collaborative project, only one class actually partakes in this part of the activity.

5. Students then number their papers with pencil and wait until the number before them has created their thick, black line on their art.

6. Students match up their numbered square with the person in front of them to extend their line and then add their own personality to their line, ending it on the other side of their paper. Then, the next person begins this same process.

7. Once complete, students can add their own line designs in their square using permanent markers and Art Stix, coloring in with value.

8. When all the pieces are complete, students collect these to put together on the wall, creating a type of line puzzle, or line mural, in the hallway.


Fourth- and fifth-grade students will ...
• think about the elements of art, specifically line and how closed lines become shapes.
• work together to create a collaborativemural where they “see” a dot going for a walk.


• 3" x 3" white drawing paper
• Permanent black markers
• Prismacolorฎ Art Stix
• Tape
• Reproductions of art featuring line


Collaborative art


Students’ individual art is hung in a group mural, and students are so excited to see how their art enhances one another’s. The informal assessment and dialogue is very strong, and this is a very exciting lesson!

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