Link to Lesson Plans (for teachers)

Project 1: Designing the Zodiac

LEARNING:  In this project, student artists are introduced to constellations and their stories from Greek, Native American, and Inca cultures; they compare how these cultures interpreted the same groups of stars in the sky and learn about how they incorporated the changing sky into their mythology. 

CREATING:  Student artists brainstorm their own, original, constellations, create an origin myth, redraw their brainstorms into a thought out composition of the night sky, and finish using liquid watercolor and oil pastels. 

CONNECTING: This project is thematically aligned with the topic ‘sun/moon/stars’. Specifically, it addresses the general  theme of the sky; how the the stars inspired storytellers and artists throughout different cultures, and also addresses how the changing sky influenced these stories.


Project 2: Artist, Explorer, Scientist

LEARNING: In this project, student artists learn about how scientists use drawing in their field research. They focus their studies on the ornithologist John Audubon. He was notable for his extensive studies documenting all types of American birds and for his detailed illustrations that depicted the birds in their natural habitats. He eventually produced a book called ‘Birds of North America’ which contained 435 life-sized watercolors of North American birds, all reproduced from hand-engraved prints.

CREATING:  Students begin the project by creating ‘field sketches’ through which they learn the basics of observation drawing. They then pick an animal figurine of their choice, draw it from observation, study the habitat of the animal, create an accurate background for their drawing, and then turn the drawings into a series of prints.

CONNECTING: This project is thematically aligned with the topic ‘birds/animal habitats’. Specifically, it supports the study of birds by looking at the biography and artworks of John Audubon. 


Doodles Academy presents artworks in the public domain as well as works that are protected by copyright and used in accordance with fair use for informational or educational purposes. Because some of these materials are copyrighted, they are only to be used for educational purposes. You can read CMSI’s Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for the Visual Arts to understand how to use and distribute these materials amongst your students.

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