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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

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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.

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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.

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9 years ago
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