Lesson plan

Neighborhood Paintings

Discussing community with your class? Your students will practice their painting skills while making the places they love in their neighborhood.
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Students will:

  • Paint pictures expressing ideas about their neighborhood.
  • Discuss their work and the work of others with constructive feedback.

This art lesson corresponds to California Visual and Performing Arts Standards:

  • 2.4 Paint pictures expressing ideas about family and neighborhood.
  • 4.1 Discuss their own works of art, using appropriate art vocabulary (e.g., color, shape/form, texture).
  • 4.3 Discuss how and why they made a specific work of art.
(5 minutes)
  • Tell students that today we will make a painting of a place in our neighborhood. It can be any place you choose, including your house.
  • Briefly define community with students.
  • Have students brainstorm different community places in pairs, then share out to the whole class. Write their ideas on the board to reference.
(5 minutes)
  • Place your paper under document camera. Write your name on the back.
  • Using the document camera, demonstrate sketching out your neighborhood place with a pencil.
  • As you draw, discuss composition. To keep the paintings more or less on the same scale, ask students to take most of the paper to draw their neighborhood place.
  • Demonstrate the "swirl, tap" method of cleaning brushes between colors and tapping off excess water.
(5 minutes)
  • Pass out paint with palettes.
  • Ask students to write their names on the back of their paper.
  • Using the document camera, use your second sheet of paper to demonstrate sketching out a different neighborhood place with a pencil. Instruct students to start their own sketches as you draw.
(25 minutes)
  • Instruct students to begin painting.
  • Walk around the room observing student progress.

Support: Students may need support brainstorming a neighborhood place. Read the list of suggestions aloud if students are still stuck.

Enrichment: Encourage students to add details such as curtains, trees, and flowers.

This lesson can be completed without the use of technology; however, technology such as a document camera can be useful in demonstrating the painting technique.

(5 minutes)
  • Review student work as you walk around the room: Did students paint a place in their neighborhood? Did students take up most of the paper with their painting?
(10 minutes)
  • Gallery Walk: Ask students to place their work on their desks and stand up. Instruct students to walk in one direction, slowly, around the room. Instruct students not to talk during this time.
  • Come back together as a class. Ask students to discuss their own works of art using appropriate art vocabulary (e.g., composition, color, shape).
  • Ask students: Discuss how and why they made a specific work of art.

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