Fourth grade students enjoy working diligently on a piece of art for a long time. Sometimes too long. They take their work seriously and don't like to be rushed. This is a good thing because they are not daunted by projects that span over a number of weeks. But hurrying them along gently is a skill you must master with this age group. Last year I was lucky enough to teach my 4th grade daughter and her friends. I LOVED her class but unfortunately, their enthusiastic, respectful and endearing behavior set my expectations very high for fourth grade. We should all be so lucky, huh?
In any case, fourth grade is a gift to teach and these are my favorite lessons to begin the year with them...
The fifth in my series of Back-to-School Art Lessons for K-6. Check out my supply list on the left side bar.
You know what I'm going to say; line drawings are the easiest projects to start with, but let's jazz it up a bit. Name Design is a great project not only because you get to learn the names of new students but it requires little in the way of supplies. And it's fast. No need for perfectionists here!
Time: 2 50 minute classes
Supplies: 12" x 18" white paper, black markers, colored broad tip markers
The next project, How to Draw a Castle is another lesson that requires little supplies and could either be started now or later. I chose now because the set-up is easy and I want things easy at the beginning of the year. Its the type of project that children are impressed by and are eager to learn the tricks of making this a doable drawing.
Time: 3-4 50 minute sessions Supplies: 12" x 18" white paper, pencils, erasers, fine tip black pen, woodless colored pencils or colored pencils of your choice, cardboard templates cut to size.
My absolute favorite lesson for fourth grade is Colorful Toucans. It is vibrant, fun, and so easy to do. Demonstrate a simple toucan drawing on the whiteboard and encourage each child to make the toucan their own. Give them options: single toucan, double, or just a head. Whatever they like! For added variety and instruction, give the kids just three colors to paint their toucans: red, yellow and blue. This "colorwheel" version adds an extra level of instruction and learning to the project.
Time: 2-3 50 minute sessions
Supplies: 12" x 18" white paper, black oil pastel, tempera paints
Due to the length of time it will take your students to finish this project, you now have September and October covered. My next choice of project would be:Under-The-Sea Chalk and Glue Drawings.
My only advice for this lesson is that it requires the art to lay flat until the glue dries. If you have back-to-back fourth graders coming in (I had three 4th grade classes in a row) you need to generate lots of floor space for the glue dripped paper. Otherwise, this project is fantastic!
Time: 3 50 minute sessions
Supplies: 12" x 18" black paper, White school glue, pencils, colored chalk pastels
Good Luck 4th Grade Teachers...next up: Fifth Grade!