Plain White Cups: Free Lesson Plan Download

Level: Middle School Art Education Lesson Plan

Art Elements: Value

Art Skills: Drawing, Shading

Art History: Photorealism

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Click to Download Free Lesson Plan!

In this assignment, students are challenged to draw “plain white cups.”
The cups are simple to draw and allow students to see the changing values on their pure white surfaces. (Marshmallows are also a smart choice!) After drawing from observation, students must use creative thinking skills to illustrate what else might be going on with the cups. Are they really ant motels? Are they rocket launchers for the circus? Are they spilling molten lava all over the carpet? The sky is the limit. It’s so inspiring to see what the students come up with!


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4 years ago


  • anna nichols

    This is an awesome lesson plan – one that combines skill building with creative expression and I love it! This past year I did a project with my middle school students that I called, “Popcorn Morphs,” where the kids did a reverse value drawing (white China marker on black paper) of a piece of popcorn. Then, they did another drawing of the same piece of popcorn, in color, of what it reminded them of. I loved these! I found the idea in the book, From Ordinary to Extraordinary, by Ken Vieth. Below is a 6th grade example:

  • anna nichols

    And here is a 7th grade example: