HighSchool Art Room: instruction and providing choice to students

Quality Fall & Winter Art Roundup

I don't do a ton of seasonal art, but when I find lessons that really work to meet the standards and have a seasonal element (often with a literacy connection too!), I welcome them into the fold!

These are art lessons incorporated into the standards and scope and sequence that have also made wonderful seasonal displays in the school halls.  Hopefully you can find some ideas to save or pin for next school year.  These lessons are great for those little times that need to be filled in with a quality activity. Enjoy!

 Kindergarten students created pinch pots that we then shaped into leaves.  By glazing them in oranges, yellows and reds, the leaves are gorgeous Autumn glory! [/caption]

There are so many wonderful read-alouds to go along with Autumn.   A new-ish one I shared with students this year was Bella's Fall Coat by Lynn Plourde. You can see it at Amazon here.


inspired by @2.artchambers (Lauralee Chambers), my students first created tissue paper bleed designs on paper.  In the next class, students cut their leaves and filled them with sharpie line designs.

First grade students created a styrofoam printing plate of a winter hat. Drawing on paper first allowed students to practice and organize their designs.  Instead of having students trace through drawing paper into the styrofoam, the children just drew their designs again without tracing.  I think this helps their craftsmanship by sneaking in even more practice! Again we reviewed line pattern and experienced a simple relief print.  Watching the children's faces as they pull their first prints is magic!  

These are simpler versions of my Kindergarten lesson inspired by Grandma Moses' Winter scenes.  Students created these as part of their goal to cut geometric shapes and make connections between art and their own experiences.  Students used 8x10 blue copy paper, white paint, construction scraps and thin Crayola markers to complete these scenes in just one class! [/caption]

Get all the info! You can check out my post on my Grandma Moses Winter Village lesson by clicking here. 

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 Second grade poinsettia art!  This lesson is from Deep Space Sparkle/Patty Palmer.  First we painted the background as a ten minute task at the end of another lesson. In the next class, we did the sponge stamping.  My tip here is to teach children to stamp using the points of a compass.  N, S, W, E... then fill in the other directions.  Again, this was only part of a class.  In the last session, students used oil pastel to add the flower centers, snowflakes and tempera paint stick border lines.  I was also able to connect this with Tomie dePaola's book, Legend of the Poinsettia.

This is a video of the story (read by the author!) that I was able to use during class while some students were washing up and others were done.


 Hot Cocoa! I used this as a quick fill in lesson with my first grade students. I gave them one stencil for the mug shape, but taught them how to really make it look like a cylinder.  The bright, bold color is achieved with tempera paint sticks.  Kwik Stix for the win on this one! I am reviewing line patterns over and over again to help students create a mental database they can pull from as well as practice craftsmanship.  I had students use oil pastel over the Kwik Stix for the pattern.  Then a little bit of cotton became steam and/or marshmallows to top it off. 

Many of these little seasonal projects were done in small amounts of time at the start or end of a class where we focused on more rigorous lessons.  I love the color and spirit of these, but they can be squeezed in to ten minute sections here and there.  That's actually a really nice resource to have!

As elementary art teachers, our schedule is such that the steps for any lesson have to be chunked.  And these lessons are great for those little times that need to be filled in with a quality activity.  My favorites of this round up are the hat, the winter village and leaf pots!

I hope you've found inspiration here today and continue to share with me here and on Instagram, where you can catch me at @emily_art_teacher_smile.  I'm also working on building up my TPT store which you can find here: Art Teacher Smile TPT site.

Thanks for reading!

signature photo, emily mceneely