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THE ULTIMATE Teaching the Elements of Art to Kids Guide

elements of art Jun 08, 2024
Discover how to teach the elements of art to children through a carefully structured sequence of activities and projects. From line to texture, our guide offers innovative strategies and resources to make art education enriching and fun. Elevate your teaching with our Elements of Art Resources.

Discover how to teach the elements of art to children through a carefully structured sequence of activities and projects. From line to texture, our guide offers innovative strategies and resources to make art education enriching and fun. Elevate your teaching with our Elements of Art Resources.




In the kaleidoscope of educational experiences, art holds a unique and vibrant spot, offering children a platform to express their creativity, emotions, and perspectives. Central to nurturing this artistic expression is a foundational understanding of the elements of art: line, value, color, shape, form, space, and texture. Teaching these concepts to kids is not just about imparting knowledge; it's about opening doors to new ways of seeing and understanding the world.

This blog post delves into the strategic order of teaching these elements, ways to explore and experiment with each, and the significance of integrating art projects that allow children to apply their learning. Furthermore, we underscore the importance of continuously pointing out these elements in daily observations and art creations throughout the year. For educators and parents seeking to enrich their art instruction, our Elements of Art Resources provide a treasure trove of ideas and materials designed to bring these concepts to life in the classroom and beyond.

Teaching in a Strategic Order

When it comes to imparting the fundamentals of art to young learners, adopting a strategic order in teaching the elements of art—line, value, color, shape, form, space, and texture—is not just beneficial; it's transformative. This methodical approach begins with the simplest concept, the line, which is the foundation of all artistic creation. By starting here, students can easily grasp how lines intersect to form shapes, and how those shapes can be filled with color, adding life and vibrancy to their work.

Progressing to value introduces the concept of light and shadow, adding depth and dimension. As students become comfortable with these concepts, they can explore form, turning flat shapes into three-dimensional objects. Space and texture further enrich their artistic vocabulary, allowing them to create more complex and nuanced artworks. This sequential learning ensures that each new concept builds upon the last, making the learning process natural and intuitive. By structuring lessons in this way, educators can scaffold students' understanding and abilities, leading to a more profound appreciation and mastery of art.


Exploring and Experimenting with Each Element


The beauty of art education lies not just in teaching the fundamentals but in encouraging exploration and experimentation within those fundamentals. When it comes to the elements of art, this means providing students with a wide array of opportunities to see how each element can be manipulated, combined, and expressed in countless ways. For instance, when exploring line, students can experiment with different tools and surfaces to see how pressure, angle, and medium affect its appearance and emotion. Moving to value, they can play with light sources and shading techniques to create depth and atmosphere.

Color introduces an exploration of color theory, mixing, and the psychological impact colors have on viewers. Shapes and forms can be manipulated through various perspectives and dimensions, encouraging students to think outside the flat surface. Space challenges them to consider composition and the relationship between objects, while texture opens up a tactile world of visual and physical textures. By setting up an environment where experimentation is not only allowed but encouraged, educators can ignite a passion for discovery in their students, fostering creative thinkers and problem solvers.

Implementing Art Projects to Reinforce Learning


Art projects are the bridge between theoretical knowledge of the elements of art and practical application, serving as a critical phase in reinforcing learning. By implementing projects specifically designed to highlight each element, students can see firsthand how these fundamental concepts influence art creation. For instance, a project focusing on line could involve students creating abstract compositions using only lines to express movement or emotion. This would not only reinforce their understanding of line but also how it can be used expressively.

A project on value might challenge students to create a monochromatic landscape, emphasizing the use of light and shadow to create depth. When exploring color, students could undertake a study of color harmony by painting a scene using a specific color scheme, such as analogous or complementary colors, thus applying their knowledge of color theory in a real-world context. Shape and form could be explored through sculpture projects, where students manipulate materials to create three-dimensional objects, learning about form in a hands-on way. Space can be examined through perspective drawing projects, teaching students how to create the illusion of depth on a flat surface. Finally, a project on texture could involve creating mixed media pieces that incorporate both visual and tactile textures, encouraging students to think about how texture impacts the viewer’s experience of art.

These projects not only solidify the students’ understanding of each element but also foster creativity, problem-solving skills, and confidence in their ability to express themselves through art. Through carefully chosen art projects, educators can ensure that the elements of art are not just learned but lived.


Integrating the Elements of Art Throughout the Year


Integrating the elements of art throughout the educational year transforms the art curriculum into a dynamic, ongoing exploration that continuously reinforces and builds upon students’ understanding. This approach involves identifying and highlighting the elements of art in a wide array of projects, discussions, and analyses, regardless of the specific focus of each lesson. For instance, while working on a project centered around historical art movements, educators can prompt students to identify the use of line, color, or space by the artists being studied. Similarly, in projects that might seem unrelated to art, such as studying the geometry in math, teachers can draw parallels to shape and form in art, illustrating the interconnectedness of subjects and the ubiquity of these fundamental elements.

Furthermore, educators can create a classroom environment that encourages students to observe and point out the elements of art in their surroundings, whether it be in the texture of a tree bark observed during a nature walk or the intricate lines and colors in the design of their clothing. This not only deepens their understanding but also fosters an appreciation for art in everyday life. Regularly integrating these discussions enhances critical thinking and observational skills, making art education a comprehensive experience that extends beyond the classroom walls.

Resources to Support Teaching the Elements of Art


In the vast landscape of art education, having the right resources can dramatically streamline the process of teaching the elements of art and enhance the learning experience for students. One invaluable resource is the collection found at Ms. Artastic’s Elements of Art Resources, which offers a comprehensive suite of lesson plans, activities, and materials specifically designed to cover each element in depth. These resources include detailed lesson plans that outline objectives, procedures, and assessment criteria, making it easier for educators to implement structured and effective lessons.

Additionally, video tutorials can serve as a dynamic teaching aid, visually demonstrating techniques and concepts related to each element, thereby accommodating different learning styles. Printable worksheets and activities provide hands-on practice for students, reinforcing their understanding through application. For those looking to further enrich their curriculum, art task cards and fast finisher activities tied to the elements of art can keep students engaged and thinking creatively throughout the school year.

Moreover, incorporating digital resources such as online art galleries and virtual museum tours can expose students to how the elements of art are used in a wide array of artworks across cultures and time periods. By leveraging these diverse resources, educators can offer a well-rounded art education that not only covers the fundamentals but also inspires creativity and a deeper appreciation for art.


Embarking on the journey of teaching the elements of art represents an exciting opportunity to open young minds to the beauty and complexity of visual expression. With the strategic order of introduction, exploration, project implementation, and continuous integration throughout the year, educators can build a rich, layered understanding of art that resonates with students long after they leave the classroom. Leveraging the vast array of resources available, such as those provided by Ms. Artastic’s Elements of Art Resources, further enhances this educational adventure, offering structured, creative, and engaging ways to bring the elements of art to life. As we conclude, remember that the essence of teaching art lies not just in covering these fundamental concepts but in inspiring a lifelong appreciation and curiosity for art in all its forms.

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