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ABCs of Art / M-N-O | Arts & Activities
Jun 2015

ABCs of Art / M-N-O

A Theme-Based Yearlong CurriculumABCsLOGO

“O” ~ Outstanding O’Keeffe-Inspired Flowers
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The following are additional “Alpha Art” lesson plans for the letters “M – N – O”

LETTER: M ~ Miro Masks
LEVEL: Grade 1


0210a1. Students are asked to look at and think about the art created by Joan Miró, specifically the Woman with Three Hairs with Birds Flying print. They are asked to think about the title.

2. Students are given their paper and watch the teacher draw various large shapes to create a creature-type image.

3. Students draw their own shapes to create their own images, using a permanent marker and making sure to add their eyes.

4. Students have the teacher begin the cut for their cut-out eyes, to make the mask appear.

5. Students then fill in the shapes with various colored markers, painting smoothly with their markers.

6. Students go over the markers lightly with blended oil pastel.

7. Students make three holes on the top of their picture using a hole punch.

8. Students tie three pieces of yarn, one into each hole, to create the look of the “three hairs.”

9. Students add two buttons somewhere on their piece for added embellishment.

10. Students mat their art onto a larger piece of colored construction paper and title it.


K through first-grade students will …
• think about the art of Joan Miró, specifically Woman with Three Hairs with Birds Flying.
• learn about the importance of the art of mask making.


• 9″ x 12″ white drawing paper
• Permanent markers
• Scissors
• Pencils
• Mr. Sketch scented markers
• Hole punch
• Yarn
• Oil pastel
• Glue
• Buttons
• 12″ x 18″ colored construction paper
• Reproductions of Miró paintings

LETTER: N ~ Native American Dream Pole, Totem Catcher
LEVEL: Grade 2


1. Students are asked to look at and think about the art created by the Native Americans, specifically their dream catchers and totem poles.

2. Students are told that since they are not Native American, it would be very difficult for them to actually make a “real” totem pole or dream catcher, and that these items are quite sacred in the Native American culture.

0210c3. Students are then given the challenge of creating a new item they named a “dream pole, totem catcher,” which combines elements of both pieces. Their art is individually created, but put together collaboratively to create a class “pole.”

4. Students draw their own symbols onto their paper inside a large, round shape. These images will tell a story about the artist.

5. Students then color their art by painting with their Mr. Sketch markers and then blending lightly with oil pastel.

6. Students cut these out, leaving a small amount of white space around their art, and then glue these down onto colored construction paper.

7. Students make several holes on their picture using a hole punch, and tie raffia around the edges and across it several times to create the illusion of a dream catcher. The raffia will hang down and they will tie two feathers to the ends.

8. Students mosaic a tile pattern around the border of the artwork.

9. Students mat their art onto a large sheet of butcher paper for the Native American installation.

10. Several students go outside and spray paint a large, empty paper roll box, which will become the base for their collaborative “pole.” (Due to our box supply, only four of the eight classes did this extension.)

11. Students glue their art onto the completely painted “pole” to create their classroom “dream pole, totem catcher”!


Student art is hung together on the pole, giving it a whole new meaning. Ask students to try to “read” the images of their classmates and tell a class story via the art!


Second-grade students will …
• think about the art of the Native Americans,specifically their totem poles and dream
catchers, and their hidden meanings.
• think critically about the use of symbols in these artworks.


• 9″ x 12″ white Bristol board
• Permanent markers
• Scissors
• Raffia
• 12″ x 18″ orange or brown paper
• Mr. Sketch scented markers
• Feathers
• Glue
• Hole punch
• Paper mosaic tiles
• Native American art prints
• Symbol handouts
• Tall paper roll boxes
• Spray paint

LETTER: N ~ Nevelson Collaborative Sculpture
LEVEL: Grade 3


0210f1. Students are asked to look at and think about the art made by sculptor Louise Nevelson.

2. Students bring in small recyclable objects and cardboard shoeboxes.

3. Students work individually to create interesting installations within their cardboard box, using their recyclable materials, wood pieces, etc.

4. Students then glue their boxes onto the large class piece of plywood, creating a large installation in the style of Nevelson.

5. Students take the large plywood outside and spray paint it using one color, either red, black or gold (as white demands too much paint to cover it entirely).

6. Students collaboratively title their group artwork.


Third-grade students will …
• think about the art of Louise Nevelson, specifically her installations.
• think critically about the importance of using recyclable materials in an artwork.


• 48″ x 48″ plywood
• Recycled objects
• Cardboard boxes
• Wood pieces
• Wood glue or hot glue
• Spray paint
• Reproductions of Nevelson artworks

LETTER: O ~ Op Art
LEVEL: Grade 4


1. Students are asked to look at the optical illusion art of Bridget Riley.

2. Students create their own grid to create an Op art piece of art.

3. Students measure lines on their paper, top and bottom.

0210g4. Students draw a slightly curved line from top to bottom, all the way across their paper.

5. Students then draw curved lines from side to side, all the way across their paper.

6. Students draw a circle using a compass on their paper.

7. Students begin to color every other shape, and they go opposite on their circle.

8. Students then draw a circle on a separate piece of paper, cut it out and color it the complementary color of their Op art grid art.

9. Students adhere their circle to their grid art, so it “pops” off the paper a bit. (I have found that 3D-O’s work great for this.)

10. Students display their Op art in an exhibit for all to see.


Fourth-grade students will …
• learn about the art of optical illusions, specifically the art of Bridget Riley.
• think critically about how math and art are related.


• 9″ x 12″ white Bristol board
• Permanent markers
• Scissors
• Compass
• Rulers
• Complementary-colored markers
• Glue



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