BackBright Hub EducationBrowse

An Out-Of-The-Box Teaching Guide for Art Instructors: Lesson Plans, 39 Teaching Tips, and Project Ideas for All Ages

By Donna Cosmato

Are you looking for some out-of-the-box ideas to take your art lesson plans from just all right to outright awesome? If so, you will love the collection of resources we've gathered together for you to use. Browse through our library of expertly written articles for tips, techniques and inspiration.

Face painting is just one of many artistic means of expression. While you probably knew that participation in art lessons and projects would spur your students' imaginations, creativity and uniqueness, were you aware of all the other benefits they would gain by their participation? It would take us a book or two to list all the wonderful benefits of an art education, but here are just a few of our favorites:

  1. Art lessons and projects develop fine motor skills and cognitive thinking abilities.
  2. Participating in art projects helps students learn a sense of place and time.
  3. Art encourages students to take risks and explore their world, thoughts and feelings in a safe environment.
  4. Expression through the medium of art can be incredibly fulfilling for children with little or no verbal communication skills.

The articles that follow constitute an extensive library of art-related lessons and resources that you'll find yourself turning to again and again throughout the school year and your teaching career.

Elementary Grades: An Introductory Age

Little artists love to get hands-on with their art work. 

In the early elementary grades, students are learning to experience their world and explore new opportunities through the use of their five senses. If you have ever tried a messy art project with one of your classes, you'll probably agree that these younger students enjoy the hands-on aspect of art lessons much better than the lectures that precede it.

In the following lessons, you will discover lots of ways to get your students engaged and involved in a variety of different art projects. This is a good age to introduce them to a wide range of art media as well, but remember that at this stage, they are much more interested in the finished project than in the process necessary to create it.

Middle School: Fine-tuning Their Skill Set

Street and sidewalk art done outdoors appeals to middle schoolers. By the time students enter middle school, they have mastered many of the basics of a beginning art education. Their innate curiosity kicks in and by now, they are just as interested in the process as they are in the product. The middle school years in art lessons can be used as a building time to reinforce and expand on the foundations and concepts instilled at the elementary level. While these students will probably enjoy participating in a variety of projects, they will probably start to develop a liking for one form of artistic expression over another.

In the lessons below, you'll find many different styles and disciplines from which to choose as you formulate your lesson plans:

High School Lesson Plans and Projects

High schoolers like to explore unusual techniques and media. Whether you are discussing art or academies, developing a proficiency in any skill is an ongoing process. While those at the high school level are presumed to have acquired a high proficiency in this art, it is always a good idea to include some lessons that reinforce basic skills and concepts.

In this section, we've tried to mix things up to allow you to add some uniqueness to your lesson plans and projects by incorporating tactile materials such as clay or highly visual media such as photography or video:

Other Helpful Resources

How do you unleash your inner artist? We're rounding out our art lesson plans guide with some handy links to other resources, tips and techniques that we think you will find useful as you navigate your school year or career. You'll find a wealth of information ranging from real-world tips on how to maintain control in the classroom to how to create the perfect art portfolio to showcase your work.

How Did You Like This Guide?

We are always interested in feedback from our readers because it is the best way to know if we are doing a good job or need to make some adjustments. We appreciate your taking the time to read this and leave us your comments. Let us know if we need to tweak this to make it serve your needs better or if you would like to see additional information on a particular topic. We are excited about what our readers have to say!