O’Keeffe Flowers (Get Kids to Draw BIG!): Free Lesson Plan Download

Grade Level: 3-5 Art Education Lesson Plan
Art Elements: Color and Space
Art Skills: Drawing Large
Making Connections: Art History

* Get more free lessons like this, on our Lessons Page

Click to Download Free Lesson Plan
Click to Download Free Lesson Plan

I had nearly written off teaching Georgia O’Keeffe to my 2nd-grade students. The last two years had proven to be less-than-successful. The flowers were too small, I wasn’t happy with the materials I used, and nothing was “hall worthy” in my eyes. So, I went to my amazing art team and asked them what their tips were for helping kids to draw big. I received lots of great ideas.

3 Tips to Help Kids Draw BIG

  1. Tell them to make it look like the flower fell off right off the paper!
  2. Make a guideline that students MUST touch all 4 sides of the paper with their drawing.
  3. Give several examples and non-examples of what you are looking for.

“I can do this!” I thought. Armed with my bag of tricks, I used them all on the first drawing day with students. I have to say, none of these tips was something I didn’t already know. I just needed to be reminded of how to best use them. I also needed to use ALL of these instead of just a few. So, I did, and it worked!

This is just one example of how there are many approaches to teach a single idea. If you’re looking to add more tricks to your bag of instructional strategies, you may want to take a look at the AOE course, Instructional Strategies for Art Teachers. You’ll learn how to effectively deliver your message, refine your demonstrations, and perfect your teaching language.

Here are some of the initial drawings, which I had the kids outline in Sharpie.




After students outlined with Sharpie, I had them define some parts with colored watercolor markers. Then, they filled in the spaces with watercolor. If students chose a cool color for the flower, I asked them to do a warm background. If they chose a warm color for the flower, I asked them to do a cool background. This was a great review of warm and cool Colors for the students as well.






8 years ago


  • Love this! And by the way.. I just gave you the stylish blog award! Check it out here: http://ms-artteacher.blogspot.com/2011/02/stylish-blogger-award.html

  • To get my kids to draw bigger for Georgia inspired projects sometimes I take their original sketches and make a few different enlargements of it on the copier. I staple it tO their original sketch and it gives them a visual of how to enlarge something to the point of abstraction. They seemed to have gotten the idea this year for you.

  • Tricia Fuglestad has a great video she made with her kids called La La Land. http://vimeo.com/groups/lalaland I use this in my classroom when I want the kids to draw off the page. It’s really effective!

  • Louise

    Love it! You have inspired me to do this with my students!

  • Shelley

    Love it! We made them today and they look spectular!

  • Jennie Dejesus

    HI I love the size of paper you used! I have taught Georgia flowers in the past and what helps my kids make it “big” is to get them to practice on a post it that is placed on top of a piece of white paper. I tell them to start on the post it and draw the petals so they begin in the post it then end on the white paper (as you say fall off the paper…clever!!). THen they peel off the post it and see how the flower is supposed to be “blown up” on the page. They then recreate the same idea of drawing the flower petals off the page when I give them the real piece of paper and then I give them newsprint or newspaper under….and tell them to do the same thing. I’ve only done it on 8×8 squares but I love this size of paper! Very cool and vibrant! 

  • The Frugal Teacher

    So awesome! Thanks for the step by step instructions. We did this in my class today and they came out perfect! 

    • Your artwork looks amazing! I am so flattered to see some of these ideas put to work in another classroom- Thank you for sharing and I will be sure to add your blog to my reader.

  • Michele Gorham

    i love the post it note tip above (I love post-its!) Drawing big is a challenge! I do this project with my 3rd graders in the spring. We use black paper, glue and chalk pastels instead! they are beautiful! We draw with the glue after we make our pencil drawing. great ideas!

  • Mamoo

    I love the concepts and ideas shared on this site. I would even consider recommending it to colleagues…except for all the typos and grammatical errors.

    • Aaron McEwen

      What a rude and snarky thing to say. Teachers contribute to this blog as an anectdote to their already busy careers and lives. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. No one here needs your negativity.

  • Wonderful project! I love the results! Pinning this and adding it to our “to do” list here at our house. :)

    • Elijah

      I love the results too!!!

  • jduhiud


  • jduhiud