In this unit, student artists create tiny sculptures using found objects. These are no larger than their hand. They then use these as still lifes, creating large(r) observation drawings using them. They complete them using tempera paint.


3rd Grade

Scope & Sequence:

Lesson 1: In this lesson, student artists use cupcakes to learn the importance of close observation when drawing.

Lesson 2: In this lesson students artists create tiny sculptures out of found materials. They will draw these during lesson two.

Lesson 3: In this lesson, students will use their sculpture from Lesson 1 as a still life, looking carefully at the details that make it unique as they draw it on oversized paper.

Lesson 4: In this lesson, student artists add any additional details they want on their drawing, then finish it with paint. They will have at least 2 sessions to paint.

Lesson 5: Allow a fifth day entirely for finishing and refining work.

Lesson 6: Optional. a final day for finishing.

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



Cupcakes or muffins (lesson 1- one per student), copy paper, pencils, small cardboard bases (1 per student—no larger than 5×5”), white glue, a selection of small found & recycled objects (toothpicks, cardboard pieces, corks, etc.), 18×24” white construction paper (or the largest heavy-weight paper you can accommodate in your classroom), washable tempera paint in red, blue, yellow, white, and black, brushes, water & containers, rags. Optional: magnifying glasses (see lesson 3)


Books & Media:

Art Elements: 

line, shape/form, color


Art Principles: 

proportion/scale, emphasis


National Core Visual Art Standards:

VA:Cr1.1.3a, VA:Cr2.1.3a, VA:Cr2.1.4a, VA:Cr2.1.5a, VA:Cr2.1.3a, VA:Cr3.1.3a, VA:Cr3.1.5a, VA:Re.7.1.5a, VA:Re.7.2.3a, VA:Re.7.2.4a, VA:Re8.1.3a, VA:Re8.1.4a, VA:Re8.1.5a, VA:Re9.1.3a, VA:Re8.1.1a, VA:Re9.1.4a



Mathematics (could explicitly incorporate ‘measuring’ when drawing their sculpture)


Common Core Standards: 

SL.3.1b, SL.4.1b, SL.5.1b, SL.3.1c, SL.4.1c, SL.5.1c, SL.3.2, SL.3.4, SL.4.4, SL.4.5, SL.5.5, SL.3.6, W.4.1d, W.5.1d, W.3.2d



Difficulty: Upper Academy

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