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Spark Creativity! Fun & Easy Art Projects for Back to School

art projects back to school Jun 01, 2024

Kickstart your school year with imaginative art lessons! Learn how to integrate surrealism, Picasso's styles, cultural exploration, and craft-based writing into your teaching. Perfect for diverse classrooms, these projects will make art learning exciting from the start.



The beginning of the school year is a canvas waiting to be painted with new experiences, challenges, and achievements. In the art classroom, this time holds the potential to set a tone of curiosity, innovation, and exploration that will guide students throughout the year. Our curated selection of fun and easy art projects for back to school is meticulously crafted to meet this end, offering a spectrum of artistic explorations that are as diverse as the students who undertake them. From delving into the dreamlike realms of surrealism to dissecting the abstract complexities of Picasso's art, each project serves as a springboard for creativity, critical thinking, and cultural appreciation.

Alongside these projects, we introduce the Art Project Membership, a gateway to an extensive collection of resources that promise to simplify lesson planning while maximizing student engagement and learning outcomes. This membership is your access to a community and a library of content that supports your goals of bringing art education to life in meaningful, impactful ways.

As we embark on this academic year, let us commit to making art not just a subject, but a journey of discovery that reflects the myriad ways students see themselves and the world around them. With projects that blend art creation with writing, reflection, and personal expression, we're not just teaching techniques; we're nurturing young artists ready to explore their identities and contribute to a vibrant, multicultural tapestry. Welcome to a year of artful learning, where every lesson is an adventure, every project a milestone, and every student an artist in their own right.

Surrealist Postcard Art Lessons:

Dive into the subconscious with a Surrealist Postcard Art lesson that challenges students to redefine their perception of reality. This lesson embarks with a deep dive into the history and principles of Surrealism, emphasizing the movement's fascination with dreams, the unconscious, and the bizarre. Students will examine works by artists such as Frida Kahlo and Joan Miró to understand how personal symbolism and fantastical elements can convey complex emotions and ideas. The lesson will underscore the techniques these artists used to create their surreal visions, from automatic drawing to collage, setting the stage for students' own explorations.

Project Idea: Portals to the Unconscious For their project, students will create "Portals to the Unconscious," postcards that serve as gateways to inner worlds. They will begin by creating a collage background from magazine clippings, integrating images that resonate with them on an emotional or dream-like level. Atop this collage, they will layer elements drawn with oil pastels or acrylics, adding creatures, objects, or scenes that emerge directly from their imagination. The juxtaposition of collage and drawing invites a dialogue between the conscious and unconscious, the real and the surreal. On the postcard's back, instead of a traditional message, students will script a riddle or cryptic passage that alludes to the imagery on the front, engaging the recipient in a game of interpretation. This project not only pushes the boundaries of traditional art lessons but also encourages students to explore the depth of their creativity and the power of their subconscious minds.


Self-Portraits Inspired by Pablo Picasso


Embrace the abstract and enter the mind of Pablo Picasso with a self-portrait lesson that challenges students to view themselves through a new artistic dimension. This lesson illuminates Picasso's cubist phase, with a particular focus on his innovative self-portraits that reveal his mastery of conveying emotion and identity through geometric abstraction. By examining the evolution of Picasso’s style and his ability to depict multiple viewpoints simultaneously, students will gain insights into the principles of Cubism and its impact on modern art. This background provides a rich foundation for students to embark on their own artistic journey, translating their features and essence into a cubist masterpiece.

Project Idea: Fragmented Features in Self-Expression This project encourages students to dissect and reconstruct their features in a cubist style, focusing on how different aspects of their identity can be represented through shape, color, and texture. Using a mirror or a photo for reference, students will sketch their portrait, breaking it down into geometric shapes and experimenting with overlapping and intersecting lines to create a sense of depth and multiplicity. These sketches will then be transferred to canvas, where students can explore color schemes that reflect their mood, personality, or artistic influences, employing a variety of painting techniques to bring their cubist self-portrait to life. For those seeking a guided approach to this innovative project, the Pablo Picasso Self-Portrait Art Lesson Plan offers detailed instructions and resources to enrich the learning experience, making it an invaluable resource for any art educator looking to inspire their students with the legacy of one of the greatest artists of the 20th century.

Exploring Culture and Identity Through Art:

Art serves as a powerful medium for expressing and exploring the multifaceted aspects of culture and identity. This lesson aims to deepen students' understanding of their own cultural identities and the diverse cultural landscapes of their classmates. Through examining art's role in storytelling and identity expression across different cultures, students will be encouraged to consider their own place within a global mosaic of traditions, values, and experiences. This lesson goes beyond art education, touching on social-emotional learning by promoting self-awareness and mutual respect.

Project Idea: Identity Symbol Paintings For this project, students will create Identity Symbol Paintings, using symbols and motifs that are meaningful to their culture or personal identity. This activity allows students to dive into research, exploring the symbols and colors significant to their heritage or that they feel personally connected to. Students will then incorporate these elements into a painting, using abstract or representational forms to create a visually compelling narrative of their identity. This art project not only celebrates the diversity within the classroom but also enables students to engage in meaningful introspection. If you're looking for a detailed guide to navigating this project, the Culture and Identity Mandala Art Lesson Plan provides a step-by-step framework for integrating discussions of culture and identity into your art curriculum, making it an essential resource for educators aiming to enrich their students' understanding of themselves and their peers through the power of art.

Back to School Craft and Writes

Welcome your students back to the classroom with a hands-on project that blends the joy of art-making with the introspective process of writing. A Back to School Craft and Write project serves as a wonderful icebreaker, helping students transition from the carefree days of summer into the structured environment of school. This project not only sparks creativity but also provides a platform for students to set intentions for the coming year, reflect on their personal growth, and share their thoughts in a supportive setting.

Project Idea: My Summer in a Snapshot In this engaging activity, students will create "My Summer in a Snapshot" mini scrapbooks. Using folded paper or pre-made blank booklets, students will fill the pages with drawings, collages, or photographs that summarize their summer experiences. Alongside each visual representation, they'll write captions or short paragraphs that narrate the story behind the image, what they learned, or why it was meaningful. This project not only serves as a creative recap of their summer but also as a way to share personal stories with their peers, building connections and understanding among classmates. For educators seeking a ready-to-go project that incorporates both crafting and writing elements, the Back to School Craft and Write Lesson Plan provides an excellent resource. Complete with detailed instructions and prompts, it's an ideal choice for kicking off the school year on a creative and reflective note.


Discover the Art Project Membership: Your Ultimate Resource for Monthly Art Inspiration:


Transform Your Art Teaching Experience with Art Project Membership Are you an educator or homeschooling parent drowning in the sea of endless searching for the perfect art project ideas and resources? Imagine a world where every month, like clockwork, you receive fresh, innovative art projects tailored for different grade levels, complete with comprehensive lesson plans, video tutorials, assessments, and more. The Art Project Membership is precisely that—a sanctuary for teachers and homeschool families designed to eliminate the guesswork and hours spent on planning and preparation. By joining Art Project Membership, you're not just accessing resources; you're unlocking a door to a vibrant community and a wealth of creative art projects that will inspire your students and children month after month.

Project Idea: Themed Creativity Boxes Each month, create a 'Themed Creativity Box' in your classroom or homeschool setting using the resources and projects provided by the Art Project Membership. These boxes can include the drawing tutorials, task cards, and fast finisher activities of the month, alongside the main art projects. This hands-on approach allows students to dive deeper into the monthly theme, encouraging exploration, creativity, and self-directed learning. For a seamless integration of this idea and to explore a treasure trove of art resources, join the Art Project Membership now and transform your teaching experience.


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