HighSchool Art Room: instruction and providing choice to students

Kindergarten Shape Cities

A quick post for a quick project- these cities are a simple, but pleasurable art project for Kindergarten students.  The use of shape, line (design), overlapping and composition work as an building block for future elements and principles projects. Drawing on personal experience or connection is also encouraged as the kids add all their individual details.

Starting off

I had students begin in pencil, drawing a horizon line.  We then talked about cities and the terms, cityscape and sky scrapers.  Instead of just drawing bunch of rectangles for skyscrapers, variety was recommended and so you see students changed up the shape of the buildings to add more interest.  Various patterns were added inside the buildings to suggest windows or different facades. This was a neat "trick" to share with my young artists and also allowed me to informatively assess their how their line skills and sense of design are progressing.  As always, I give examples of line designs- call it the 'line bank', but allow students their own choice.

The fun comes as the kids begin to add their details. Their additions of flags and trucks, cars and clouds are what really make these city scenes charming.

Pair it with a story...

Have enough time to add a storybook to this lesson? You know I love that! Try, Iggy Peck Architect, by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts.  Alphabet City, by Stephen Johnson is also a favorite of mine.  I like to use storybooks to add more depth to my lessons with young students as well as make all important language arts connections for those developing readers.  When you're on day two of a lesson and it the art-making and reflection won't fill up the whole period, a storybook is the perfect start (or end) to the class.


I did not have cause to modify this lesson this time around, but if I was looking to modify it for my special needs population, I would have step by step process examples to be able to provide visual goals in bite sized chunks (always good).  My advice is to draw out these examples on copy paper and then make individual copies for each student.  Then you can write notes for certain needs or highlight information if you think that's helpful.  I put my 'directions' sheet in a box lid with all the modified supplies the student(s) might be using and quick go over it with the aide.


Thanks for visiting! I love to share my projects with you. -Emily