In this unit, student artists study the work of the artist Jacob Lawrence, learning about how he depicted African Americans in Harlem, showing everyday scenes and moments. They then create a sketchbook, sketch their own neighborhoods, and create a collage using color to highlight the action.

2nd Grade

Scope & Sequence:

Lesson 1: In this lesson, student artists create their own sketchbooks and begin sketching out things that they frequently see around their neighborhood. 

Lesson 2: In this lesson, student artists learn about color mixing, including tones and shades, by working on collaborative color pieces. 

Lesson 3: In this lesson, student artists choose either a warm or a cool color scheme, then collage their background. They will have two days to work on this. 

Lesson 4: In this lesson, student artists have a second day to finish collaging their background.

Lesson 5: Students complete their covers with watercolor.

Lesson 6: In this lesson, student artists add people, animals, and objects to their piece using collage. They use the opposite color family from the previous weeks (example: if they used warm colors last week, they will use cool colors this week). 

(you can preview the first lesson in a project without enrolling by clicking on ‘lesson 1’ above).


Art Elements: 

line, shape/form, color


Art Principles: 

proportion/scale, balance, emphasis


National Core Visual Art Standards: VA:Cr1.1.1a, VA:Cr1.2.2a, VA:Cr1.2.3a, VA:Cr2.1.1a, VA:Cr2.1.2a, VA:Cr2.1.3a, VA:Cr3.1.2a, VA:Cr3.1.3a, VA:Re.7.2.1a, VA:Re.7.2.3a



Language arts & writing (reading and developing stories)


Common Core Standards: 

RL.2.2, RL.3.2, RL.2.3, RL.3.3, RL.1.7, RL.2.7, RL.3.7, W.1.7, W 2.7, W.1.8, W.2.8, SL.1.1a, SL.2.1a, SL.1.1b, SL.2.1b, SL.1.3, SL.2.3, SL.1.5, 1.G.2



Difficulty: Lower Academy

Access the project & save it to ‘My Artroom’:



Fair Use

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Our projects are free. To access them: 

1. Enroll with your email

2. Access projects you are enrolled in through your personal 'Artroom' at the top of the page.

3. As you work through the project, check your email for teaching strategies and management tips

Terms of use: We are a non-profit, and the materials made available for download are freely available for anyone to use, adapt and share (with attribution), but no one is permitted to sell either the original program, an adaptation of it, or lesson plans that reproduce any part of it.

Affiliate Links: On the pages, you will find affiliate links to art supplies, books, and misc materials. We encourage you to use these, as we do make a small percentage off of them, and by doing so you support our mission. More, we link to products that are expert-recommended; for our supplies, art teachers have helped us choose the most effective brands to use. For our books, literacy consultants have vetted our selection.