Bring Fine Art into Your Classroom

Bring fine art lessons into your classroom K-6th Grades.

pumpkin imageDid that sentence make you stop breathing?

Don’t worry, I got this. Mrs. Perry’s Art Studio was designed with you in mind and dedicated to teachers and students in the classroom.
I provide Over 60 standard art lessons and 35 Social Emotional Art Lessons. NO PREP and little or no special art supplies needed. Many of the lesson’s crossover into math, science and language arts.

Zentangle Pumpkin -Watercolor 4th Grade Student Ness Elementary

Students, when given a chance to make art, smile, skip, and dance.

  • • They create, play, laugh, and their imaginations grow.
  • • They care, share, and love.
  • • Giving your students art is fundamental to their development.
  • • Creating Art helps you breathe, and give’s your students the opportunity to use the right side of their brain and express themselves which is so fundamental to their development.
  • • Making art throughout the school year grows the brain and helps students improve focus within all curriculums.
  • • Arts education not only inspires and motivates students to enjoy learning, it also supports the creative and critical thinking skills that are so highly valued in today’s economy.

Giving learners the time, space, and materials for creative expression can lower stress, improve memory, and make them feel more socially connected, and in addition, arts education can improve school climate and empower students with a sense of purpose.

  • • Art helps express a student’s emotions in a positive way
  • • Art teaches students to be more aware of themselves
  • • Art help improves student’s fine and gross motor skills
  • • Creating art helps students with focus and perseverance
  • • Art has a large impact on social and emotional growth

I can’t express enough the importance of art in your classroom or your school. I have personally witnessed miracles. Students that couldn’t connect due to trauma and stress, and even those students who don’t do well academically, found art and positive changes happened.

The students started feeling connected with the class, their school, and their community and it helped them express their anger, grief, and anxiety and start to grow self-awareness and self-esteem.

Art Expectations in the classroom
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Of course, we want your students to respect art supplies. I think of art supplies as precious because of the years I have spent scraping and begging for art supplies so my students could experience different mediums. Also, waste makes me crazy.

I make sure my students understand that art supplies are expensive, and art is a privilege. A very large percentage of students in the US do not get the opportunity to make art, how fortunate are your students?

If we had the opportunity to use special paper to make art, like watercolor or pastel paper, I would explain if a mistake’s made the student would need to find a way to fix it or change it. I wouldn’t allow throwing away a piece of expensive paper and starting over. I would also explain, sometimes those mistakes turn into happy accidents and those accidents would allow the student to say when the project was complete, “I meant to do that”.

Art supplies are meant to be used on paper, not on students, or their neighbors, or their desks or chairs. Using art supplies to draw on anything other than paper is wasteful.

But more important than respecting art supplies is the importance of artistic expression.

Allow creativity and eliminate boundaries. – The hardest Part for Educators. 

NeMPAS 1arly every student can follow step-by-step instructions while watching my videos, but my videos are intended to be more than a ‘how to draw” video.

I often repeat in the video’s the importance of how each student’s art needs to look different than what I have drawn. Every student needs to hear that they are an individual. They should never be disappointed if their art doesn’t look like the example. They should be proud their art doesn’t look like the sample, because their art expresses their look and comes from their heads, their hearts, and their hands.

The second step is the most important.
Adding to the art to create a setting or a background allows the students art to become theirs. It creates emotion and tells a story.

Allow the student to add anything they wish, as long as it’s school appropriate. This step allows creativity, makes them think, grows confidence, and so many times creates a story in their heads. When creating art, the students are telling a story with images. What a perfect opportunity for you to use the art, as an illustration, to have them write out the story.
Most educators have students illustrate their stories after writing a story…. change it up. Make art first and watch the imaginations soar.

Art is Art…. what are you talking about Mrs. Perry? 

What it means is, we humans, are creative beings. We are not a computer or a camera. Unless you are documenting a specific animal, landscape, or habitat for a science project, there is no reason to paint a tree green, a sky blue, or an ocean blue. Allow your students to use any colors they want on any object and whatever they add to their art is the right answer.

Encourage students to walk around the room and see what others are creating. This gives students inspiration and ideas, especially those struggling to find the perfect images to add to their art.

When trying to identify an object in your student’s artwork, never ask a student “what is that?” Rather ask, “Can you explain this to me?” Asking “what is that?” lowers confidence in students.


Art Walks Rock 

MPAS 3When projects are complete, have an “Art Walk”. It’s as easy as laying out the art on the floor and having students walk by and see all their classmate’s fabulous art. Looking at others’ art, whether in a magazine, online, in a gallery or museum, or in your classroom, always promotes creativity, imagination, and inspiration. Remind students to watch where they step, so not to step in the art.

Finding a space to hang the art in the classroom or the hall promotes self-esteem. Switching out the art often also promotes inspiration and creativity. Students always want to take their art home right away. They are proud of their work and want to show it off to the people they love the most. When a student asks when they can take their art home, know you have used art to bring joy, expression, and excitement to their world. Art saves.

Before the Art Walk, talk about the universal rule which is, “never touch anyone’s artwork”. Practice as if you are in a real gallery or a museum, explain that if people in galleries or museums touch displayed art pieces, they are asked to leave the gallery or the museum. It’s a big deal in the art world and it should be big deal in your classroom.

Ask the students to pay attention to what is the same and what is different. This is an opportunity to inspire your student’s next piece of art. Have them pay attention to color combinations or patterns each student used, maybe there are colors one student used that they would like to try with their next piece of art.

We never touch anyone’s art, mostly out of respect. The student art represents hard work, personal emotions, and pride, it becomes a part of who they are. When you touch someone’s art you disrespect the artist.

Our student’s art is precious. We must be careful and respectful of each other’s art. I would ask my students to imagine what it would be like if someone touched their art and it caused harm to the art, how would it make them feel? Make sure they understand the feeling and explain that’s why we don’t touch the art. Professional adult artists, feel the same way, their art is precious, don’t touch it.

When the Art Walk is done and students have returned to their desks, discuss the art. Talk about the process and what they learned. Discuss what they like about it and how they would do it differently the next time. Artists, oftentimes, use the last piece of art they created as inspiration to start the next piece.

Promote kindness

MPAS2When a student is creating art, most times they have never done the project before. They are taking a risk. Encouragement, kind words, and compliments help dissolve those thoughts of doubt and insecurities.

When a student is creating art, most times they have never done the project before. They are taking a risk. Encouragement, kind words, and compliments help dissolve those thoughts of doubt and insecurities.

Ask your students to give compliments to classmates on specific details in their art. Example: I like the way Sam added the dog to his art, or I like the colors Sam used, or I like the patterns Sam used, etc.

Some students feel very uncomfortable making art. To give your students courage, remind them, back in the day, there was a time when they started to learn how to write their names, like maybe 3 or 4 years ago in kindergarten. I bet when they first learned how to write their names (or any of the words they write) it may not have looked the way it does now. That’s because over the years of schoolwork they have written their names hundreds of times.
Practice, practice, practice. Same with sports, learning to play a musical instrument, dance, or even learning to read. Sometimes drawing something for the first time feels like the first time they learned how to write the letters in their names. But, just like learning to write, they have to start somewhere….and who knows, they may even learn to love art, either by making it or by the joy it brings to look at art.

Art is fundamental to a student’s growth. It’s also fundamental to their futures and their careers. There are very few jobs that don’t require some kind of design experience. Think about all the careers that need designers. Someone designed your school, your car, the restaurants you visit, the clothes your wear, the appliances in your kitchen, your school’s landscape, the computers you use, and the roads and bridges you drive to get anywhere. Those designers are artists, they create using their imaginations.

Be that teacher who grows imagination in students, and you will make a difference that lasts a lifetime….and beyond.

It’s exactly what you already do in all the other subjects you teach.

Thank you for being a teacher!