Friday, May 11, 2012

Klee Inspired Abstracts - 3d Grade

I love how this lesson turned out!  My third graders just finished working on these Paul Klee inspired abstracts.  I got the inspiration for project from a lesson I saw on Arteascuola.  It was from her April 4, 2012 blog post (I couldn't get it to link directly to the exact page.  
The link is located on her side bar in popular posts.)


First I had the students watch this short three minute video (above) of Paul Klee artwork.  The video is one I found on Pinterest.  It is on my "Videos for the Art Room" board on my Pinterest page.  I also printed out several of Klees paintings and created posters about his life and work that are laminated and placed on each one art table.  We discussed the paintings on the table posters as well as a few they viewed on the video.  We also discussed what an abstract piece of art looks like, and how Klee used abstract elements in his art work.

The Rules Were Simple:

First:  They had to use simple shapes, circles, squares ,triangles, etc. as well as lines.

Second:  They couldn't use detail to help describe the subject of their picture, only shapes and lines.

Third:  They had to draw on the paper I gave them and could not flip it over to the blank side.

The paper I gave them to draw on had writing all over it. It is text from the fairytale Thumbelina.

I then copied several passages from the fairytale "Thumbelina" and pieced them together randomly to fit an 8.5x11 piece of paper.  Then made copies of the page for the classes to use as their drawing paper.  The concept of drawing on a piece of paper that had print all over it was exciting to some of the students and frightening to others!  I told them they could not use the plain side of the paper as the words were going to become part of their background design.  They drew their pictures in pencil first.  Then they were allowed to choose any subject matter they wished.  Some chose buildings and castles after seeing my examples but others chose to draw animals, landscapes and people.  When the drawing was complete they outlined it with a black Sharpie marker so that the sketch stood out from the print on the paper.  I had them color them in with construction paper crayons.  These took about two 30 minute classes to complete and the kids enjoyed making them.  Some even asked for extra sheets of the printed paper to draw on when they were done!

Below are some of the finished pieces.  I love how they came out!  I hope you enjoy them! :)


  1. Amazing!! I’m so proud to share my idea with you, thanks for your link!

    1. Thanks for sharing the idea originally! The pieces your students created were beautiful! :)