Learning about Arctic Animals can be easily integrated in art and in a Choice-Based way as well! Learning about the Arctic can be made interdisciplinary with Socials Studies, Language Arts, and even in Visual Art. In this article I will provide 5 Choice-Based Ideas for creating Visual Art using the theme “The Arctic”.
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PORTRAITS OF ARCTIC ANIMALS
So my first idea is that students can be given the opportunity to research either in books or online, Arctic Animals. You might already be doing this in another subject and want to extend your teachings with an art lesson! Perfect, add this on to your unit!
Have students research and make a list of and sketches of different Arctic Animals. It would be similar to doing different “Field Sketches” where they find an image of an animal THEY like, do a quick sketch of it, then write its name above or below as a label. What a fabulous way to also talk about sketch-noting OR Non-Fiction Text Features!
Next, they should choose ONE animal that stood out to them or they felt a connection with and should turn it into an artwork. Students should be given an opportunity to photocopy or print off a reference image, then can be given a selection or art mediums to use to create a Portrait of an Arctic Animal.
EXTENSION: Make it interdisciplinary by asking them to research and write about their animal after they create! You can have them write a fictional story about their animal OR non-fiction article!
ARCTIC ANIMALS IN A LANDSCAPE
Allow students an opportunity to research both Arctic Animals online or in books AND Arctic Landscapes. Have them select one animal to make an artwork of. Have students print off 1 animal picture and 1 arctic landscape image.
Students will then use their reference images to help them design an artwork of an Arctic Animal in an Arctic Landscape. You can do with is wany age, but you can level up or down your expectations. For primaries you can explore this with wax crayons and tempera paint cakes for resist painting techniques OR let them choose an art medium from their pencil box.
With Elementary students, let them make a choice between watercolor paints, oil pastels, or soft pastels to see some magic happen and push them away from conventional art mediums and to encourage creativity.
With Middle School or High School students, ask them to do larger scale artworks, collage, ink drawings, or acrylic paintings.
You can take this in any direction and make it as big or small as you’d like to!
IMMERSIVE ARCTIC ART EXPERIENCE
On YouTube, search up an Arctic Tundra or Arctic Animal video. Mute the video but play your own playlist on either another Youtube video in a new tab or use your fav music player like Spotify. Play some soft music and then project the video not onto the screen, but into the room! Stick your projector far away against a wall or in a corner and try shining it onto the floor or one the walls or onto the ceiling like a Van Gogh immersive museum experienece.
Next, prep some animal pics! Print off 5-7 different images of Arctic Animals and photocopy so there is enough for each student. Now go hide them around the room… on floors, on chairs, under tables, etc.
Invite your students to walk around and find an arctic animal. Once they find one they should sit quietly with their animal in the spot they found it and draw it with a choice medium on a piece of paper. How cute an engaging is this?
BLACK AND WHITE ARCTIC ANIMAL ART
Have students choose an Arctic Animal and make black and white art inspired by the animal with their choice of medium! Black and white means you can pull out graphite sticks, charcoal, india ink, watercolor paint, or even allow digital art making! Use this prompt as a means of pushing your older students out of their comfort levels and immerse into new horizons and possibilities of art mediums and techniques!
ARCTIC ANIMAL SCULPTURES
Finally, let students pick an Arctic Animal and make a sculpture! You can make sculptures big or small or tiny! They can be made out of clay, air dry clay, cardboard, wire (Alexander Calder style), or even paper mache!
For this, you should choose the medium but they should choose the animal an style of making!
Find Arctic Animal Art Lessons Fully Planned & Ready-to-Go!
For fully planned lessons, you can try one of these Arctic Animal Art Lessons from my TpT Store!
Find Arctic Animal Drawing Tutorials on YouTube!
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Kathleen McGiveron (Ms Artastic)
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