I think it is important to begin the year with line. With kindergarten and first grade it is usually a simple project progressing in to higher expectations with the use of line in second thru fifth.
Here is what each grade level has going on.
In Kindergarten we review lines and introduced new ones. We discussed how lines close to make shapes. We then used a shoe template and turned it in to a fish. This is a lesson I have actually used since I started teaching. It can be found on kinderart.com . I have changed it throughout the years. Sometimes it just crayon resist or maybe just paint. The past few years it has been these great fish collages!
First grade focused on having their lines dance across the page. They were to draw a variety of lines and add shapes to create line designs that went from one edge to the other. We did a dance with line movements and then we put on our creative dance shoes and let the lines boogie woogie on! One rule was -NO parking on the dance floor!
Second graders focused their attention to creating patterns on a turtle shell. We had previously discussed the various lines and practiced drawing them on the first day of art along with the art room expectations. So, they were familiar with what was expected of them. And boy did they show off! It was also a good reminder to take your time mainly because I kept saying slow and steady wins the race! I did a simple guided drawing of a turtle and the only requirement was to include at least 5 patterns.
Third grade focused on their first initial and drew it in block letters. after dividing the space in to sections they were required to fill in with at least 5 different patterns before repeating them. Once they were complete students traced a circle on their paper and colored in using colored pencils. This created a center of interest and allowed them to really focus on their work. a big concept i try to apply every chance i get is craftsmanship- taking pride in your work.
Fourth graders were challenged to fill the negative space with line design in this name tower lesson (found on Pinterest, adapted by me). Students were to use the letters of their first name (or last if their name was short, like “Sam”) in block format. The letters needed to overlap or touch in some way t create a tower. The empty negative space where there is nothing (nothing=negative) the directions were to fill with line design. It was a set of directions that allowed for them to interpret their own way.
Fifth graders…I always do this Crazy Hair project with them at the beginning of the year! I think I originally found this lesson in an old Arts and Activities magazine, but i have also seen it on Pinterest. I use to do the “u” and have students do a head or a beard, but…the students started coming up with their own ideas to implement to directions and it has since morphed in to this amazing lesson. I talk about zentangles a bit. But the vocabulary for this is-line, patter, variety,=line design, contrast, control, overlapping, breaking the edge, and craftsmanship. Their idea can be anything that will allow the design to flow from.