Doodles for Teachers

Free, impactful, & easy-to-implement projects that embrace student choice 

“I absolutely love your website and have begun to use it in my classroom quite frequently … some of my students love the website so much that they have done some lessons on their own at home.”

Julie Rains

Classroom Teacher in Oklahoma City, OK

Projects:

All of our projects are open-ended and highly adaptable for different grades and skill levels, with an elementary audience in mind (1st-5th grades). We differentiate some of the technical skills and vocabulary into lower and upper levels, but the project topic and content remains largely the same between the upper and lower versions, so please choose the level that fits your students, their exposure to art, and ability levels. Use the following as a guide not a rule. Roughly:

Lower Elementary= Under 3rd grade

Upper Elementary=3rd grade and older

 

Me & My Monster

Students learn about visual poetry, create a poem about a monster helper, draw a self-portrait, and rearrange their poems in a visual way with the self-portrait.  

Primary Material: Colored Pencils

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Embracing Challenges

Students learn about artists who faced different mental and physical challenges, and complete a recycled sculpture by getting their own series of challenges.

Primary Material: Recycled Materials

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Designing the Zodiac

Students learn about constellations across many different cultures and create their own constellation and write their own origin story.

Primary Material: Oil pastels, watercolor

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Artist, Explorer, Scientist

Students learn John Audubon & scientific drawing. They choose an animal, research it, and draw an accurate picture in it’s habitat. They finish by creating prints. 

Primary Material: Pencil, printmaking

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Superheroes

Students learn to recognize shapes and types of lines as they design and draw their own superheroes.

Primary Materials: Collage, watercolor

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The Secret Language of Objects

Students learn how objects can represent an idea, or serve as symbols. They use symbols to create an artwork that can tell a story. 

Primary Material: colored pencils

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Symbol & Self

Students create metaphorical self-portraits. 

Primary Material: Colored pencil

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Anthropomorphic Animals

Students choose an animal, draw it realistically from photographs, and then use the background to show what human traits the animal has come to represent.

Primary Material: markers

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A Toy's Story

Students depict where their toys go in their imagination. 

Primary Material: markers

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Dream House

Students build their ‘dream house’ then draw it using observation drawing.  

Primary Material: Pencils, oil pastels 

Blocks (lower) recycled building supplies (upper)

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Tiny Still Lives

Students build a small sculpture of their choice from recycled materials, then draw it using observation skills on large paper. They finish with paint. 

Primary Material: recycled building materials, pencil, tempera paint

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Totem Animals

Students learn about the importance of animals to Indigenous people. They create a self-portrait that uses animals to symbolize themselves and, if they wish, their family.  

Primary Material: tempera paint

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Create-a-Creature

Students learn about hybrid creatures in mythology, then create their own. 

Primary Material: Pencils, paint, printmaking 

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Persian Miniatures

Students learn about Persian Miniatures. They then create an illustration of a story or poem using an engraving technique. 

Primary Materials: markers, crayon, black tempera, engraving supplies (e.g., toothpicks)

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Near & Far

Student artists create a landscape of somewhere they have always wanted to see and visit (older students use ‘Google Maps’ to virtually visit, younger students create a collaged book of ideas). They then learn about how color can change the ‘mood’ of a painting. 

Primary Material: collage, pencil, tempera paint

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Around the Neighborhood

Students learn about Jacob Lawrence and the Harlem Renaissance. They make a collage that depicts their own neighborhood, with a focus on color. 

Primary Material: Drawing, Collage materials

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Mexican Alebrije

Students learn about the history and creation of a Mexican folk art called Alebrije. Students create their own imaginary creatures. There is an emphasis on color choices and texture.

Primary Materials: collage, oil pastel, watercolor

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Close Encounters

Students study the woman artist ‘Georgia O’Keeffe’. They bring in objects that are special to them and draw them, closely considering their own compositions as they work. 

Primary Material: drawing, watercolor

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Enchanted Lands

Students learn about compositional elements as they create a magical setting that could host fairy tales. 

Primary Material: collage, tempera paint 

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Rainforest Creature Marionettes

Students learn about animal defense mechanisms and invent an animal ideally suited to live in the rainforest. They create a marionette puppet of their invention. 

Primary Materials: paper towel tubes, tissue paper & glue, drawing

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