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Arty Smarty: Exploring Various Mediums in Picture Books

Main Core Tie

Elementary Library Media (K-5)
Strand 2 Standard 2

Additional Core Ties

English Language Arts Grade 2
Reading: Literature Standard 5

Fine Arts - Grade 3
Strand: CREATE (3.V.CR.) Standard 3.V.CR.2:

Time Frame

4 class periods of 15 minutes each

Group Size

Large Groups

Life Skills

  • Aesthetics
  • Communication


Jared Crossley
Jenifer Palomarez
Jodi Raphael


Grades 2 & 3
Discuss different types of mediums used for illustrations.

Each student will create a sample paper using the mediums available.

Students will create an artifact using a holiday or historical event as a theme and/or students will match illustrations with the type of medium used.


Books featuring art mediums:


  • Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon (Patty Lovell),
  • Thunder Cake/ Pink and Say (Patricia Polloco)
Oil Painting:
  • Heckedy Peg/King Bidgood's in the Bathtub (Don & Audrey Wood)
  • Christmas Oranges (Linda Bethers)
  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See? (Eric Carle)
  • Falling For Rapunzel (Leah Wilcox)
  • Creepy Carrots (Aaron Reynolds)
  • Sam and Dave Dig a Hole (Mac Barnett)
Colored Pencil:
  • Big Bad Bruce/ The Ant and the Elephant (Bill Peet)
Pen & Ink:
  • A Light in the Attic/ Where the Sidewalk Ends (Shel Silverstein)
  • Where the Wild Things Are (Maurice Sendak)
  • National Geographic: Book of Animal Poetry
  • Christmas Wish (Everet, Breiehag)
  • Un-Brella (Scott Frandson)
  • Sheep Over (John Churchman)
  • Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf (Jennifer Holm)
  • One Well: The Story of Water on Earth, (Rosemary Woods)
  • The Story of Solomon Bear (Claudia Gadotti)
  • Babymouse (Jennifer Holm)
  • Flora and Ulysses (Katie DiCamillo)
  • Captain Underpants (Dave Pilkey)
  • Dork Diaries (Rachel Russell)
  • What Color is Your Underwear (Sam Lloyd)
  • Out of Sight (Francesco Pittau and Bernadette Gervais)
  • Big Bad Wolf is Good (Lynn Chapman)
  • The Wizard of Oz (Puffin Chalk Series- by L. Frank Baum)

Background for Teachers

Types of art mediums: oils, pastels, pencil, pen, digital, watercolors, oil paints, acrylics, pencils, colored pencils, digital, texture, chalk, and collage.

Make an anchor chart of vocabulary terms.

Samples of art mediums: See list in the Materials section of this lesson plan.

Student Prior Knowledge

Review art materials previously used by students. Ex. What types of things have you used to create the art you've made in the past? Have you ever used crayons or chalk to draw? What is your favorite way to make a picture?

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to identify differences in forms of artistic expression. Students will demonstrate various forms of artistic expression.

Instructional Procedures

Lesson 1: (suggested 20 minutes, whole group instruction)

Show students two illustrations made with different mediums.


  • What's the difference between the pictures?
  • What do you think the illustrator used to create the pictures?
  • Show samples and discuss vocabulary.

Lesson 2: (suggested 20 minutes whole group instruction and finish with individual activity)

Discuss previous lesson about different types of art mediums used in illustrations.


  • Paper labeled with mediums in table with 8-12 squares.
  • Students go to stations with mediums available to test on their papers.

Lesson 3: (Could be divided into 2 lessons - one individual or small group creating art and the other playing a matching game - perhaps whole group or divided into small groups)

Create holiday or history art project using one of the mediums and/or play matching game using illustrations and matching with medium vocabulary terms.


Identify pictures, shapes, or colors. Use materials properly: paints, chalk, pastels, photographs, and pen & ink.

Assessment Plan

Lesson 4 activity: Play matching game: use art vocabulary and match with the type of medium used in illustrations.


Elementary Core Standards,,,, Edited by Kathy Ballard, USPB Review Committee

Created: 09/08/2016
Updated: 02/05/2018