My House

“I like how I made the front door peaking out behind the pillars holding up the front porch and the giant window in front of our porch. And the plants in the front just above the curb and the arborvitae that has sticks on our side. And the car driving up to the garage and the driveway under the car.”


2nd Grade, Portland, Oregon


LEARNING: Students study the life & work of the African-American artist Jacob Lawrence, specifically looking at his paintings of Harlem, where he lived.

CREATING:  Students create sketches of their own neighborhood and finish by creating a collage, similar to how Jacob Lawrence used his neighborhood  (Harlem) as inspiration for his paintings.

CONNECTING: This project is part of our ‘Art & Literacy Curriculum’. You are welcome to use it independently, and it is easily adaptable to use across multiple grades. However, it was designed to support the topic ‘community’, which is often found in 2nd grade ELA curricula. Text sets and vocab are pulled for 2nd grade students.

Specifically, this project addresses the theme of the ‘community’ by having students focus & study their neighborhood, as well as learning about the Harlem/African American community.

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 (optional lesson): In this lesson, student artists learn about color mixing, including tones and shades, by working on collaborative color pieces.This paper is then used to collage with.

Lesson 3: In this lesson, student artists plan out a composition and begin their collage.

Lesson 4: In this lesson, student artists have a second day to finish collaging their background and finish with detailed collage elements.

Lesson 5: In this lesson, student artists add people, animals, and objects to their piece using collage.

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

The above will take you to a supply list that assumes a class size of 30. Adjust according to your needs. 
The above will take you to a list of core texts, as well as a text set. More information is included in the link. 
List of Tier 2 & 3 vocabulary

Art Elements:

line, shape/form, color

Art Principles:

proportion/scale, balance, emphasis


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


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

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Navigation tip: when you first go through the project, you must hit the 'mark complete' button, at the bottom of the page, to unlock the next lesson. After 'mark complete' has been hit, you've unlocked that lesson, and you can then use the sidebar to easily click to different lessons within the project (helpful if you are working through the project with more than one class).

Why do I need to hit mark complete? Certain lessons have email triggers (such as teaching tips when there is a painting lesson), and this helps us know when to send them. It also helps us track completion rates.

Our art projects are free. To access them: 

1. Enroll in any course with your email

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

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