Skip to Content

Join The KinderArt Club, for Premium Art Lesson Plans.

Sketchbook Starters – Filling a Sketchbook with Ideas

Sketchbook Starters – Filling a Sketchbook with Ideas
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

A list of ideas to encourage students to work on their own sketchbooks. This is a good jumping off point for teachers and students who wish to try creating sketchbooks during the school year.

By Eileen Urbanski [Eileen is a teacher at Eagle & Union Elementary in Zionsville, IN]

Objectives:

Students will understand what being an artist means and demonstrate this through:

The use of a sketchbook to record their ideas.

Students will be:

  • drawing from their imaginations
  • drawing from real life objects
  • using “how to draw” instructional resources

The creation of their own Art Book (portfolio).

Students will create:

  • several pictures about famous artists
  • paintings/drawings using new materials like pastels, oil crayons, paint
  • drawings/paintings using new techniques like crayon rubbing, pointillism, computer art, printmaking

What You Need:

  • Sketchbooks
  • Pencils/erasers
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Craypas®
  • Paint
  • Brushes
  • Printing ink pad and stamps
  • Watercolor
  • 12×18 paper
  • Plastic binding combs
  • Tagboard

Resources/Books Used

What You Do:

Big Idea:

Everyone is an artist – it is our very special skill! Out of all the creatures on the earth only humans possess the ability to be artists!

Introduction:

  1. Ask the students if they know what a sketchbook is and ask if any of them have one at home.
  2. Discuss how an artist uses a sketchbook.
  3. Discuss how they will use a sketchbook.
  4. Tell the students that because some of them work fast (rabbits) and some work slow (turtles), everyone will be getting a sketchbook to use for the rest of the year in art class. Tell them that It is used whenever there is extra time in art – if they finish their work before other students. It is a special place just for their art ideas!

Day 1:

  1. After Intro, read the book Drawing Lessons from a Bear.
  2. Have the students say out loud “I AM AN ARTIST!”
  3. Hand out sketchbooks and give the following assignments:
    • Draw a picture of yourself on the cover (this is a self-portrait) and write your name and grade on it.
    • Draw one picture inside using your imagination.
    • Draw one picture inside from a “how to draw” book (students can look through the books you have on hand).

Day 2

    1. Read the book – The Artist.
    2. Write a list of jobs that an artist can do on the white board.

Assignment (in the sketchbooks):

    • Draw a beautiful sunrise
    • Draw a rainbow
    • Draw anything you wish (free choice)

Day 3:

    1. Read the book – Hands Growing Up to Be An Artist
    2. Enjoy the format of the book.

Discussion (talk about the following):

      • How the family works on hobbies/projects at home.
      • Talk about how the students will be creating their own Art Book. Emphasize that it will take a while to do each picture, but when they are done, they will be able to take it home and show everyone what they learned.
      • Talk about famous artists’ paintings.
      • Talk about materials like pastels, oil crayons, paint.
      • Talk about new techniques, pointillism, computer art, printing.

Assignment:

    • Make a picture inside the sketchbook using a new material.

Day 4-8

Activity/Vocabulary Ideas for the Sketchbook:

  • Van Gogh – Starry Night Crayon Rubbing, Markers, Expressive, Texture, Brushstrokes [lesson plan here]
  • Edvard Munch – The Scream Oil Pastel, Crayons, Bold Colors, Movement, Emotion [lesson plan here]
  • Piet Mondrian Compostion in R-Y B – Paint, Primary Colors, Shape, Line [lesson plan here]
  • Leonardo DaVinci – Mona Lisa Watercolor, Crayons, Portrait, Depth (showing near and far)
  • George Seurat – Sunday Afternoon In the Park Marker, Dots, Computer Pointillism, Landscape [lesson plan here]
  • Wassily Kandinsky – Improvisation Printing, Non-Objective [lesson plan here]

Conclusion:

Continue to come up with ideas for the sketchbook. When the school year is complete, students can take the books home and share with family and friends.

Also See:

The Art Book – Portfolio Assessment


    Join Our Club

    You are currently on the KinderArt.com site which features lots of free art activity ideas for kids (I hope you are enjoying them!) HOWEVER, if you are looking for more detailed art lesson plans, drawing lessons, printables, sketchbook starters (and more) provided monthly, you will LOVE The KinderArt Club - a membership portal designed for parents, homeschoolers, classroom art teachers and studio instructors.

    Inside the club you will find hundreds of printable PDF art lessons designed to work in small or large group settings, with a range of ages (from 5 to 12 years).

    Get creative teaching kids at home, instructing students in a classroom, leading workshops in a studio, or sharing online, as you explore artists, art periods, science, nature, history, cultures and themes, with creativity and flexibility in mind.

    Join us today at: TheKinderArtClub.com