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Using Shapes to Create Forms (lesson plan)


This lesson revolves around shapes: using works of art to find shapes, using pattern blocks to build shapes, and creating buildings from shapes.

Grade Levels
2nd Grade
Subject Areas
Math, Visual Arts
NC Standards Correlations
Visual Arts
2.V.1 , 2.V.2

Artwork Related to this Lesson

  • Mosaic

    Mosaic, by Unknown Roman Artist

    learn more
  • Beaded Sheath for an Orisa Oko Staff

    Beaded Sheath for an Orisa Oko Staff, by Unknown Yoruba Artist

    A Yoruba ruler (oba) and other powerful community members surround themselves with heavily beaded attributes...

    learn more

Student Learning Objectives

  1. Students can identify a variety of shapes.
  2. Students can create an image using a variety of shapes.
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General Education Classroom:

  • Students will read the book Icky Bug Shapes and discuss the characteristics of a variety of shapes.
  • Students will go on a nature walk/classroom walk and make a list of each shape that they find and where they locate the shape.
  • Students will look at the art pieces of: Mosaic and Beaded Sheath for an Orisa Oko Staff.
    • Students will look at the piece of art for 1 minute without speaking.
    • You will then introduce the concept of observing shapes in pieces of art.
    • Have students take 1 more minute and have them write down the different shapes that they observe in the piece of art. Make sure they are just writing instead of sharing.
    • Lead a discussion with the students on what they observed in the art pieces.
  • Students will then create a drawing of a “creature” using only the shapes that we have been introduced to. See student example
  • Students will write about what shapes they used to create their “creature” and cityscape (in art room) and compare that with the art pieces seen in the classroom and art room.

Art Room:  

  • Art teacher will introduce Flight of the Butterfly No. 1. Use a Visual Literacy Discussion technique (see video example here.)
  • Students will create a watercolor sunset on white construction paper. This will be used as the background for the shape project.
  • Have students create a community/skyline picture using the shapes: square, rectangle, triangle, circle, hexagon, pentagon, and quadrilaterals. Student example. Other examples: 
  • Students will choose either the “creature” or cityscape (see example of watercolor background here) and share with their peers how they used the shapes to create art piece in creative ways.

Written by Denise Knowles and Alison Milstead


  • Students will be able to identify the 6 important shapes and their attributes (triangle, circle, quadrilaterals, pentagon, and hexagon) discussed while studying the pieces of art chosen.
  • Students will create an artwork with a given number of shapes used to create their artwork.

Lesson Resources

Vocabulary:  square, rectangle, triangle, circle, hexagon, pentagon, and quadrilaterals, geometric, strategy, observe

Materials: Pencil, paper, pattern blocks, crayons, construction paper shape cut outs, glue, black paper, watercolor paints.

Lesson Resources: Book: Jerry Pallotta’s Icky Bug Shapes


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