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Sample Lesson
Grade 4
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Visual Art Standards:

1.2 Describe how negative shapes/forms and positive shapes/forms are used in a chosen work of art.

2.8 Use complementary colors in an original composition to show contrast and emphasis.

Elements and Principles of Art demonstrated in lesson:


Curriculum related to lesson:

dotMath & Science (Patterns & Plants)

Lesson Description:

Students will create a pattern of petals to create a work of art. They will use complementary colors to enhance the design.


This lesson will show how contrast of light and dark, and complementary colors with the use of pattern will make an interesting work of art. Visual patterns are very common such as simple decorative patterns (stripes, zigzags, and polka-dots). Others can be more complicated, however, they may be found anywhere in nature and in art. Here we take circles equal signs, and heart shapes to create a pattern to represent a flower. Flowers can be traditional poinsettias or the flowers can be any color.

Flowers can be traditional poinsettias or they can be any color.
Construction paper crayons are great on black construction paper.


dot12" x 18" drawing paper or watercolor paper (or black or dark blue construction paper)
dotcrayons or construction paper crayons


Step 1. Draw small yellow circles toward the center of your paper.
Step 2. Draw about 7 or so more circles.
Step 3. Add about 6 or 7 equal signs all around the circles: =
Step 4. Add heart shapes to the = signs
Step 5. Now the petals are drawn with 2 curved lines.
Everyone will have a slightly different shape.
Step 6. Continue this pattern until your flower is the desired size. Make the petals larger in each row. Pictures can have one flower or more.
Step 7. Add leaf shapes too.
Step 8.When coloring, make sure your outlines don't get lost. Use a darker color for the outlines and fill with lighter shades.

Step 9. Pictures can be done with regular crayons on white paper with felt pen outline.


Step 10. Pictures can be outlined with a contrasting color. A space can be left between the outline and the fill color. Use light and dark shades of the colors or analogous colors (neighbors on the color wheel).


Evaluate the complimentary colors. Check to see if students have enough contrast between light and dark in their artwork. These are both important ingredients in art.