Elementary Art · Inspire Others

First Week Collaborative Art


The first week of school I like to do a collaborative art project with all my students K-5. Last year we did a mosaic and the students watched it come together as they each created their own small square. This year the project didn’t rely so much on each student’s art to create a whole, but was rather a way for them to introduce themselves to the school through a large display that went up during the first week of school.

After seeing several pattern hands and silhouette self portrait projects online, I decided to combine the two ideas. My students have art twice per week for 30 minutes so this lesson was done in two sessions and it was completed and hanging in the halls by the end of the first week of school.

In the first session students traced their arms from the elbow to the finger tips. I did the tracing for the kinder kids. Then they spent their time drawing small pictures to tell others about themselves. What they like to do, favorite colors, etc. The second class period was spent coloring in their drawings. I reminded them to stay focused on the arm image and not worry about the background. Those who finished early added background designs.


I love having a large scale display hanging by the end of the first week. Including all grades creates unity and hanging art early gets the students excited about the year ahead. Parents are coming in and out of the building often those first few weeks of school and the students love to show off their masterpieces!

What do you do to start off your art year?

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