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Earth Day is just around the corner so I am going to give you 5 Earth Day art lesson ideas and activities that you can do with your elementary students to engage them in art making while also creating awareness around the fragility of our planet and all the life forms that inhabit it. Let’s dive into it! #earthdayart #earthday

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Explore Micro-Organisms & Create Artworks

I think something that would be interesting would be to, either with a buddy/in a group/as a class, research micro organisms that live amongst our planet. What lives in the pond? Ocean? Is there anything in the soil? A puddle?

After you have found information on some micro organisms and get some favorites, find some microscopic imagery of the micro critters. Next, have students create artworks inspired by these micro organisms! Of course, you can create all kinds of artworks from watercolor portraits, computer graphics or digital art with a tablet, oil pastel and resist painting art… You can come up with an idea or use this as an opportunity for choice-based art where students create a design in their sketchbooks then conference with you before they create the final piece (you will discuss design, mediums to be used, meaning or message, how it will be displayed, etc).

Finally, to extend their learning, students can write a small biography for the organism that they researched and created a portrait artwork of to show what they learned and also teach others about them in their community (school). This is a fabulous way to add a Science & Art interdisciplinary art lesson in your classroom!

cutout paper illustration of assorted microorganisms and viruses on cell
Photo by Monstera on

Endangered Species Artworks

The next idea that I LOVE is to research and learn about, THEN create artworks of an Endangered Species. For younger students, research one animal together and learn about it as a class. You can then create an artwork together of that animal to bring awareness to it not only in your classroom, but make a display and share out to the school community. Maybe integrate it into the school’s blog or social media or what not.

For older students, take it to the next level and have them research an animal on the Endangered Species List and then design an artwork around that animal with an art medium of your choosing OR their choosing. For self-directed works, always include student sketching then one-to-one conferencing prior to the student embarking on this journey.

Nature Walk & Observational Drawings

With this activity, have your students “grab something to draw on and something to draw with” and head outdoors and go on a Nature walk around the school yard or in the community! With this, have students walk in silence and be observers, using ALL their senses to notice nature. What do they hear? See? Smell? Taste? Touch?

After a while, you can find a place to stop and have them sketch 1 thing they see. Next, continue walking. After another 5 minutes, stop and draw again, this time prompting them to focus on creating a range of values in their sketch. Finally continue and stop after another few minutes and for the third drawing, have them sketch 1 final thing they see but this time with a focus on re-creating the texture using line and value!

green leaf close up photo
Photo by Philipp Deus on

Earth Day: Make Our Planet

Another idea would be to create artworks of Earth! You could even use recycled materials for this one or create portraits of our planet to bring awareness that we share this giant ball together and flying elsewhere really isn’t an option (and shouldn’t be, this place is magical!).

Earth Day Directed Draws & Finish the Pictures

Finally, if you want a quick and easy Art Lesson activity, you can always do an Earth Day themed Directed Drawing OR Finish the Picture activity. You can find both of these in my TeachersPayTeachers store, Ms Artastic or by clicking the pictures below!

3 Free Ms Artastic Art Lessons for your Classroom!

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

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