Autumn Art Ideas for an Elementary Classroom

nature red forest leaves

It’s already FALL. Well, I’ll be honest, I have my pumpkins out already… but I grow them myself. I LOVE growing pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. It is a 6 month adventure as I start my Atlantic Giants indoors in the spring… then after months of TLC I get a giant pumpkin or 2! They’re so beautiful. Also, Halloween is my Christmas. If you’re someone who wants to start getting ready for Christmas in November… well, that is how I feel about Halloween. I LOVE IT.

But I also love Autumn too so let’s get inspired by some lovely autumn artworks that you can do with your kids in your classroom or at home.

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picture of pumpkins
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My lovely friends, let's explore Autumn Art Lesson Ideas that you can do in your classroom. These are easy ideas that you can do in class or use for Distance Learning. Observation is everywhere in autumn, and generally, so are WARM colors. This is a great time of year to do observational drawings and explore creating art using warm color schemes. As well, we have so much in terms of theme that we can use as inspiration for art!

Let’s Acknowledge YOU. YOU are AMAZING.

Before I share some ideas, I just want to say… GOOD JOB. It is a pandemic and you’re most likely teaching in an entirely new way… and you’ve made it to October. So honestly, you need to take a moment right now to acknowledge that you’re making amazing moments happen and look at all the things you have done. Here is your action item: write down 2 highlights from the start of your school year (or if you’re in Australia, highlights in the past 2 months) and 1 thing you’re OH soooo Grateful for. Take a moment. Recognize it. Feel the warmth. You deserve this.

man in white crew neck top raising hi left hand
Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on Pexels.com

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.”

Chinese Proverb

Autumn Ideas

My lovely friends, let’s explore Autumn Art Lesson Ideas that you can do in your classroom. These are easy ideas that you can do in class or use for Distance Learning. Observation is everywhere in autumn, and generally, so are WARM colors. This is a great time of year to do observational drawings and explore creating art using warm color schemes. As well, we have so much in terms of theme that we can use as inspiration for art!


Nature Walk: Stream of Consciousness Brainstorm

Take your kids or students outside, go on a nature walk and as you walk as a class, have them write on blank paper or in a page of their sketchbook a “stream of consciousness” note taking or observations. Any thought that comes into their head, have them write it down. Walk slowly and silently either around your school yard (go around the perimeter) or if you’re aloud, go around the block or a nearby park. Walk silently, slowly, look and listen. I did this once as a student in my first year at Emily Carr University and we used this activity to be mindful and acknowledge all the ideas and thoughts in our minds as we traversed the surrounding area. As you walk as a class, have your students look and listen. Have them write or draw these observations as sketch notes on their paper. Have them doodle and draw any images they visualize in their mind. This activity is all about the THINKING part of art making! 

If, at anytime, other thoughts pop into your student’s minds, encourage them to interrupt their other recordings so that they may record these new thoughts! 

Use this information for creating artworks later. You can use it to compile a class list of ideas and that can inform your instruction or lesson planning over the next couple months, or they can use their own records as inspiration for designing their OWN artworks. 

You can also have kids create an ARTWORK or a SKETCHBOOK drawing, using their ideas or thoughts from the walk as their prompt for their drawing. 

This is a great way to teach kids to listen to their thoughts and draw inspiration from both what they SEE and/or HEAR and what they IMAGINE or THINK. 


Observational Drawings in Autumn

Observational drawings are a lovely thing to do during Autumn! This is a great way to get your students outside and observing the changes in the season. They can compare and contrast what their environment looked like BEFORE and AFTER the changes for Autumn. This is especially great to do if you live in a place where you have distinct seasons.

As well, in Autumn, things… Well, they FALL. Right? So this is great for kids because they can go outside and pick something up then bring it back in for drawing. This is better than say, in the spring, because picking living things isn’t that great. Plants need to make flowers to reproduce and it also provides food for animals like Hummingbirds and Bees. So fall time is great because nature is discarding it. Have students find something to draw, bring it back in and have them do a still life, observational sketch of the natural found object.

You an also have them find leaves and do leaf rubbings with their findings! This is especially good for primary! They can also experiment with a few mediums to see what is the best medium or color for doing leaf rubbings with.

Once your done with the found item, don’t forget to return it back to nature so it can decompose and give nutrients back to the soil so that new plants can grow next year!


Download Free Art Worksheets for Kids

Click here to download free art worksheets that you can print to allow kids to explore art at home!


Warm Color Art in Autumn

You can also have students create art that uses warm colors. Make a list of the warm colors and reflect on how they make you feel when you look at them. You can teach this color scheme on a color wheel then create artworks that only use warm colors! You can create leaf drawings or watercolor paintings, leaf rubbings with warm colors, silhouettes paintings on a warm color background, or make collages with clippings that only use warm colors.

nature red forest leaves
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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Autumn Themed Artwork

You can also have students create art that reflects an autumn theme! As a class you can easily brainstorm different ideas of things you see in the autumn such as acorns, falling leaves, warm colors, pumpkins, gourds, scarecrows, crows, harvested food, farm fields, wheat, animals in an autumn landscape, autumn landscape art itself… The list is exhaustive and I’m sure your students can think of many possibilities! They can even combine ideas from the class brainstorm to create an artwork!

You can use these ideas to create artworks, design lessons over this season, or use them for Sketchbook prompts. This is something you can easily do in person or as a Zoom activity. You can write stuff down as students offer suggestions, then take a picture of your class brainstorm and share it out to your students digitally. Just because you might not be in person teaching right now doesn’t mean you can’t do seasonal art and explore the world outside!

Find my Autumn Art Lessons on the Ms Artastic YouTube Channel!

Finally, if you need some ideas or need to take a break in your classroom or from recording lessons for online instruction, I’ve begun to create autumn artworks on my YouTube Channel! Find the lovely drawings in my YouTube Channel, Ms Artastic!


How to Draw an Acorn

Let’s draw a cute, kawaii Acorn for Autumn with this art lesson! Use whatever mediums or materials that you have and follow along with this tutorial!

How to Draw a Falling Leaf

Let’s draw a Cartoon Falling Leaf for Autumn with this art lesson! Create a cute Art Project that explores creating movement with line. Use whatever mediums or materials that you have and follow along with this tutorial!

How to Draw a
Pumpkin & Crow


New Autumn Art Lessons by Ms Artastic


Thank you for reading my blog post! I am grateful that you did and I appreciate you having took the time to read to the end. Thank you so much. Please write any questions you have in the comments section of this post.

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Yours Truly,
Kathleen McGiveron (Ms Artastic)


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My lovely friends, let's explore Autumn Art Lesson Ideas that you can do in your classroom. These are easy ideas that you can do in class or use for Distance Learning. Observation is everywhere in autumn, and generally, so are WARM colors. This is a great time of year to do observational drawings and explore creating art using warm color schemes. As well, we have so much in terms of theme that we can use as inspiration for art!
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Ms Artastic

My Name is Kathleen McGiveron and I am Ms Artastic. My WHY is to provide art teachers and teachers with Art Resources, Ideas, tips, and insights to allow them to save time and be THEIR best teacher! I want to create a community through Artastic Nation where we are all inspiring, creating, and learning together. Join Artastic Nations and get ideas so you can get unique and creative art projects, resources, and tutorials for your classroom! I provide art resources for art teachers that are easy and ready-to use for hands-on learning. My art tutorials and resources allow you to plan quickly, encourage creativity, and to teach confidently to your Elementary or Middle School students.

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