10 Back to School Art Projects and Activities for Kids for your Art Classroom

Art Teachers, in this episode I’m going to give you 10 fresh and new art projects, activities, and ideas for Back to School in your Art Classroom! These are all ready-to-go ideas that you can use in your classroom that have a lovely Back-to-School vibe and will have your students in your art classroom exploring art mediums, experimenting, and being creative! I got you my lovely friends! Alright, let’s get into it! 

GET ALL THE DETAILS! Listen to this post on my Podcast!


ART CLASSROOM COMMUNITY BUILDERS AND ICEBREAKERS FOR ART TEACHERS: 

I love creating activities that help my students learn who their classmates, allow me to get to know them faster (especially when you have hundreds of students), and also allow kids to explore art making. This is why I always start my year with community building. This is also a classroom management strategy because you’re getting to know your students and you should also be sharing who you are to your students to help earn their trust. Some students need a little more convincing that they can trust you so give them the opportunity right away to let them learn who you are. Sometimes the reluctant learners in your classroom really need to build a relationship with you before they are ready to learn from you. Design some community builders for your classroom that let you learn who your students are but also let them explore art at the same time. Art themed community builders! However, if you want to just grab community builders that are ready to use, I have fully planned and ready-to-use community builders in my TpT store. 10 Back to School Community Builders specifically designed for art classrooms to allow for both community building and exploration of mediums and materials while providing the teacher an opportunity to learn about their students and make observations (lesson plans). Grab the link in the show notes or visit the Back to School section of my TpT Store, Ms Artastic. 

Click here to check out the resource: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-to-School-Art-Classroom-Community-Builders-and-Icebreakers-4689268  


ART CENTERS FOR YOUR ART CLASSROOM: 

Art Centers are a great way to get your students exploring and creating art in the first week or so of your classroom. It is a good strategy for easing them into exploring art mediums, getting used to your classroom and learning about you, and simply easing into being a creative thinker. Art Centers are a great way to get your students exploring art and being creative! Put them in bins and rotate students through the centers, or use them as various center activities through the year. Art Teachers, these also make perfect “When-You’re-Done” activities and Bell Ringers in your Art Classroom. Use these in your first week to get kids exploring and then, once they know how to use them, let them be your “When your done” activity for your students throughout the year as they already know how to use them and it’s all already prepped. Design your own or you can grab my ready-to-use Art Centers in my TeachersPayTeachers store, Ms Artastic! Find resource in the back to school section of my store or in the show notes of this episode. 

Click here to check out my Art Centers: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Art-Centers-for-Elementary-Students-Exploring-Visual-Arts-5439501  



Growth Mindset in an Art Classroom 

GROWTH MINDSET for your Art classroom! Promote resiliency and determination among your students! Perfect for pairing with Growth Mindset lessons or to use with Growth Mindset coloring pages. Teaching art to kids is a dream; a perfect job where you get to be creative and experiment while inspiring young minds to do the same. Watching kids giggle while they paint and get messy always brings joy. 

However, often there are students who act out, show unexpected behavior, or give up and refuse to work without having tried the project at all. When students show unexpected behavior, it is usually because they don’t believe in themselves and believe they CAN’T do the activity– instead of asking for help they instead make the choice to distract others or be silly (which is frustrating for the teacher). 

Teaching “Growth Mindset” thinking to your students in your art classroom can teach them to change the way they think: to allow them to believe they can create art if they practice and try, to know that mistakes help them learn, and that learning takes time and determination and that we are not expected to create the BEST art piece from the start, instead knowing that (like anything) learning the creative process is a journey and an adventure where you create, experiment, make mistakes, and encounter failures. They will know that it’s okay to go through this journey because we are all life long learners. 

Design some Growth Mindset Art lessons for your classroom, or grab my Growth Mindset for an Art Classroom resource that teaches growth mindset strategies in an art classroom setting! Grab it in my TpT store or grab the link in the show notes of this episode. 

Click here to check it out: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Growth-Mindset-for-an-Art-Classroom-4579952  


Back to School Directed Drawing 

Directed drawings are amazing for teaching students basic drawing skills and techniques. It teaches them hand-eye coordination and is a perfect opportunity to build their confidence in drawing. Reluctant learners often think they can’t make art or draw (which is why we should always teach Growth Mindset in our art classrooms) but if you give them the opportunity to see they can and start your kids off with easy-to-achieve lessons and goals with directed drawing, you’re increasing the opportunity for ALL your learners to see that they CAN make art and they CAN draw! They just have to work at their own pace and the more they try, the more they can do!  

Teach directed drawings to your students often over the first 2 months and just spend time increasing their confidence! You can always do directed drawings with different art mediums when you introduce the medium to your kids like oil pastels or paint! It is a great way to introduce an art medium and teach a drawing skill! 

Design your own directed drawings or grab my back to school themed directed drawing resource in my TpT store, Ms Artastic, or grab the link in the show notes of this podcast. 

Click here to check them out: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-to-School-Directed-Drawing-3929282  


FREE Art Lessons for Kids!

Click here to download my Free Art Projects that you can use in your classroom!


Surrealist School Supplies inspired by Salvador Dali: 

Create some Surrealist School Supplies with your students this back to school to get them excited about art making and exploring a style of an art movement right away! In this fun, hands-on and easy-to-do Back to School art lesson, students will use watercolors paints or tempera paint cake to create a Surrealist School Supplies Artwork inspired by the art making style of Salvador Dali, perfect for Back to School Art Project fun! Have fun this Back to School with Art in your Classroom! 

This resource is complete with a video step-by-step art tutorial, a rubric for marking, a lesson plan, a finished example, and a step-by-step drawing handout to allow your students to create this piece successfully! 

Visit my TpT store, Ms Artastic to check out this resource or find the link in the show notes of this podcast! Click here to check out the art project in my TpT store: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-to-School-Art-Project-Surrealist-School-Supplies-Art-Lesson-Middle-School-7022924 


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Yayoi Kusama inspired Apple Art Project for Back to School:  

Create a Yayoi Kusama inspired APPLE for Back to School to get them excited about making art, exploring line and pattern, contrast, and also exploring the style of an Artist! In this Back to School, fun, hands-on and easy-to-do art lesson, students will use watercolors paints or tempera paint cakes and oil pastels to create an Apple Artwork inspired by the art making style of Yayoi Kusama, perfect for a Back to School Art Project fun! Have fun this Back to School with Art in your Classroom! Check out my art lesson in my TpT store, Ms Artastic or get the link in the show notes of my blog: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-to-School-Art-Project-Yayoi-Kusama-Apple-Art-Lesson-Elementary-7023016  

Name Word Art Project that can be used as an About Me: 

Absolutely get to know your students through making some Name Art! It is a great way for them to ease into art making but also exploring who they are. This also gives them the opportunity to share who they are with you and their classmates! If you display it in the school they can share out to the community!  

In this fun, hands-on and easy-to-do art lesson, students will use watercolors paints or tempera paint cakes and choice art mediums to make a Name Word Art Artwork, perfect for Back to School Art Project fun! Have fun this Back to School with Art in your Classroom! Explore word art and learn who your students art through creating an art! 

Click here to check out this art project! https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-to-School-Art-Project-Name-Word-Art-About-Me-Elementary-Activity-7023094  

Primary Rainbow Snake Art: Learn Your Colors: 

Learn About Colors with this Art Project that allows students to Create a Rainbow Snake Artwork! In this fun, hands-on and easy-to-do art lesson, students will use felt markers and soft pastels to create a Rainbow, Back to School Artwork that explores colors and learning colors, perfect for a Back to School Art Project fun! Have fun this Back to School with Art in your Classroom while teaching students about colors and the rainbow! 

This resource is complete with a video step-by-step art tutorial, a rubric for marking, a lesson plan, a finished example, and a step-by-step drawing handout to allow your students to create this piece successfully! 

Check out this art resource in my TpT store: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Back-to-School-Art-Project-Rainbow-Snakes-Art-Lesson-Learn-Colors-Activity-7023223  

Elements of Art, Art Projects: 

Once you’ve gotten to know your students and you’ve taught some fun Back-to-School themed art projects to get them excited about making art in your classroom, it is time to teach them about the Elements of Art, which are the basic structures or elements of artworks. From 2D to 3D artworks, it is impossible to make art without the Elements of Art. They are the foundation of art making! Of course, you can teach about the Elements THROUGH making ART! 

The Elements of Art are: 

-ELEMENT OF ART: Color 

-ELEMENT OF ART: Value 

-ELEMENT OF ART: Line 

-ELEMENT OF ART: Shape & Form 

-ELEMENT OF ART: Texture 

-ELEMENT OF ART: Space 

Design units that will teach what each Element are and then create a follow-up art project that will explore using the element as a focus for an art project! For example, you can create an art project that focuses on using the Element of Art: Line! 

For a complete Elements of Art Unit Bundle that will teach each element of art and also allow you to have full art units for EACH element of art to allow you to be planned for the year (each unit comes with 3 full art lessons!) then check out my art unit bundle in my TpT Store, Ms Artastic, or grab the link in the show notes of this podcast episode: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Elements-of-Art-Lessons-Art-Unit-Bundle-5730378  

If you are still teaching Remotely or are doing Online Teaching through Distance Learning, grab this Elements of Art, Introduction, Digital Art Lessons resource: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Elements-of-Art-Introduction-Digital-Print-Art-Lessons-Distance-Learning-5732189  – A wonderful introduction to the 7 Elements of Art: Color, Value, Line, Shape, Form, Space, and Texture! This booklet, that can be offered to your students as a printed booklet, a Powerpoint, or a Google Slides document, includes an introduction to each of the 7 Elements of art, as well, an Art Project tutorial for each Element that allows students to CHOOSE which mediums they want to use! 

Or Click here to see ALL of my different Elements of Art Resources: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Ms-Artastic/Category/-x270e-ELEMENTS-OF-ART-253807  

Principles of Design Art Projects: 

The Principles of Design are the structures we use or consider when making our artworks to help us make art that is pleasing to the viewer. The Principles of Design are Balance, Contrast, Emphasis, Movement, Pattern & Repetition, Proportion, Rhythm, and Unity & Variety. 

After you teach the Elements of Art, wrap up your year by teaching the Principles of Design with a unit that explores what each principle of design is and then EXPLORE it using a focused art project that shows that principle of design in action! 

Design some principles of design art projects to use in your classroom with your students! For a complete Principles of Design Art Unit bundle that explores all of these principles, check out my bundle in my TpT Store, Ms Artastic or click the link in the Show Notes of my blog. 

Click here to check it out! https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Principles-of-Design-Lessons-Art-Unit-Bundle-5604168  

Or click here for ALL of my Principles of Design Art Resources: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Ms-Artastic/Category/-x270e-PRINCIPLES-of-DESIGN-414278  

If you’re teaching remotely or online, check out my Digital Principles of Design Resource: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Principles-of-Design-Introduction-Digital-Print-Art-Lessons-Distance-Learning-5735238  

ACTION ITEM: 

Make a plan for your first 2 months! What are you going to teach in those first days? First weeks? First 2 months? How are you going to get-to-know ALL of your learners! How are you going to encourage them to make art and build their confidence? How are you going to teach them classroom routines in a fun and engaging way? How are you going to teach them about YOU? 

Well, that’s all for this episode! Happy Back to School and I wish you all the best this school year. Remember, not everything will work out perfectly and that’s okay! Just remember to have fun with your students. 

I’m Kathleen McGiveron, Ms Artastic, signing off. 

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Art Teachers, in this episode I’m going to give you 10 fresh and new art projects, activities, and ideas for Back to School in your Art Classroom! These are all ready-to-go ideas that you can use in your classroom that have a lovely Back-to-School vibe and will have your students in your art classroom exploring art mediums, experimenting, and being creative! I got you my lovely friends! Alright, let’s get into it! 

Find Drawing Tutorials & 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 have lots of Art Video tutorials that are classroom friendly on my YouTube Channel!



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.

Please help me out by subscribing to my YouTube Channel to help me reach my goal of 100,000 subscribers. I teach full art lessons and drawing tutorials for kids on my channel and I am confident you will enjoy your subscription. Click here to subscribe!

Yours Truly,
Kathleen McGiveron (Ms Artastic)


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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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