In early years and the foundations of formal education, visual learning is an important tool. Visual learning is how children begin to understand the world around them, and how they first start to identify certain words. Mark making is the first stepping stone to writing. Visual learning helps children to grasp concepts as they imagine them in their own minds. Maps, charts, and comparisons are all things that can be much more easily understood visually, even to adults.
As school subjects, visual art and design help to foster visual creativity and expression. Creative subjects not only provide students with the tools to look at the world in different ways and communicate their thoughts and feelings but also foster essential transferable skills in learning other subjects. Here are some teaching resources to get your students inspired and excited about Art.
Art Lesson Resources
AccessArt is a leader in art teaching and learning resources, approved by Arts Council England. AccessArt works in collaboration with artists, arts organisations, museums, schools, universities, and galleries to help teachers provide more value to children during arts education in school.
On the website, teachers can find resources to help them plan art lessons and modules and carry out activities with children in line with the national curriculum for KS1 and KS2. AccessArt provides recommendations on how topics should be broken down for children to understand and suggestions on how to approach creativity in the classroom in an innovative and inclusive way.
Primary Resources is an excellent website for teaching resources on all subjects from core literacy, numeracy and science to IT, PSHE, and SEN. Art lesson resources on the website include lesson plans and presentations to introduce students to topics and concepts, and hands-on craft activities. Examples of other childrens’ work can be shown to the class to help them with inspiration on how to interpret the art exercises.
Resources for lesson plans cover famous artists and art movements, art from different cultures and periods of history, and art theory such as understanding the colour wheel.
Probably the most famous art museum in the UK, Tate Britain’s kid’s online resource is home to a rich and diverse collection of activities and lessons in art culture. In the ‘Explore’ section of the website, children can learn about famous artists in visual and easy to digest chunks of information. The ‘Make’ section of the website presents a variety of different activities to encourage children to use different materials, with suggestions on how to translate ideas into visual elements like going on a ‘colour walk’, or drawing a ‘sound creature’.
Art isn’t simply about mark-making and creating from scratch. To help primary school children learn about art movements, famous artists and different artistic disciplines around the world, Teaching Ideas is a useful resource.
On this website, teachers can find fact cards, step-by-step exercises, books, classroom banners, and colouring sheets covering art history and theory from Pointillism to Van Gogh.
Working to support the national curriculum for art in primary school, National Geographic has developed a series of activities that challenge students to explore visual expression and imagination. All activities on the National Geographic Kids website are aimed at helping students reach learning objectives by developing their skills in creation, invention and problem-solving.
Some of the activities include creating animal lanterns from recycled bottles, making paper daffodils, and creating carnival masks.
Place2Be is an organisation dedicated to improving the mental health of children. Here teachers, assistants, carers, and parents can find specialist-created art activities to nurture their relationships with children. The purpose of the Art Room, according to Place2Be, is to “encourage children to create something they want to make.” Because of this, all activities are designed to be flexible to allow children freedom in their creative processes and to help adults adapt exercises to each child.
Taking students on a field trip often depends on where your school is located. Google Arts and Culture makes it easy and fun to take students on virtual field trips through art museums around the world, or through the details of famous pieces of art.
Suited more towards KS2 students, Google Arts and Culture is home to a variety of games and apps where students can experiment with selfies in different artistic styles or use augmented reality to place famous sculptures in their homes or in the classroom. The site has a ‘today in history’ feature where students can read about a memorable art history milestone that happened on that very day. This resource is an excellent jumping-off point to get students excited and start imaginations flowing with interactive tasks.
Creative Art Lesson Themes and Activities
Jackson Pollock splatter painting
Let the children get inspired by Jackson Pollock’s messy abstract expressionism and create their own works of art with paint splatters. Jackson Pollock liked to work on the floor, so using a roll of paper like our Easel Paper Rolls would be best for this activity. Make sure the children have access to many different paint colours. At Springboard Supplies we stock a 20 pack of Ready Mixed Paint Rainbow Colours. Give the children paintbrushes and show them how to dip the brushes in paint and then create splatter effects on the paper.
Springboard Supplies Ready Mixed Paint Rainbow Colours
Stained glass mosaics
Prepare a PowerPoint presentation to show the children famous stained glass windows such as Notre Dame’s South Rose stained glass window and explain how stained glass windows often tell stories.
Tell the children they will be making a stained glass window to tell their own story. Provide the children with some black paper and make sure they have lots of different paper mosaic pieces to use in different colours and textures. Ask the children to draw out a picture that represents something about their identity, like a pet or their house and get them to cover the drawing in the different mosaic pieces. Holographic Mosaic Squares are a fun way to recreate the sun shining through a stained glass window.
Pointillism stamp picture making
Help the children to discover the artistic movement of pointillism through famous paintings like Georges Seurat’s A Sunday on La Grande Jatte, explain how pointillism is produced with hundreds of tiny dots. Tell the children that they can make their own pointillism pictures using only dots and stamps.
Springboard Supplies Giant Texture Palm Stampers
You can create some homemade potato stamps for the children to use and explore how different shaped stamps produce different patterns. Art Springboard Supplies we stock several different types of stamps that produce different effects, like our Giant Texture Palm Stampers, or Hemispherical Stampers which can produce different results when children try rolling them across the paper.