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One Point Perspective & Grant Wood Lesson for Early Elementary

Updated on June 20, 2019
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I am a Christian. I was an 8th-grade American History teacher. I am currently a freelance writer, public speaker, & homeschooling mom of 9.

One Point Perspective & Grant Wood Lesson for Early Elementary
One Point Perspective & Grant Wood Lesson for Early Elementary

This is the 7th lesson in a series of 26 hands-on art lessons for Kindergarten, 1st, & 2nd grade. This lesson focuses on one point perspective using an autumn theme & inspired by Grant Wood. We will also include a new class medium: oil pastels. I used this plan while teaching a weekly 45 minute art class for children in Kindergarten, 1st, & 2nd grades. Each lesson includes an art concept, introductory book, focus on an artist, and a variety of art techniques to make each lesson engaging & memorable. Use these fun lessons with your classroom, homeschool, after-school program, or co-op!

Fall Plowing & Arbor Day by Grant Wood - Images are from
Fall Plowing & Arbor Day by Grant Wood - Images are from

Grant Wood & One Point Perspective

1. We will again be working on landscapes. Who remembers the artist we learned about last week? (Henri Rousseau) He loved to draw jungle landscapes, but many art critics said his paintings looked flat. They didn't have perspective. Today we're going to learn how to add some perspective to our landscapes.

2. Grant Wood was especially good at showing perspective.

  • Share a little bit about Grant Wood by reading some of Grant Wood by Mike Venezia.
  • Show some of his paintings (such as the ones above) and ask the children to point out where the road ends or where everything seems to disappear from our view point. This is the vanishing point.
  • Ask a child to point out where the sky & land meet. This is the horizon line.
  • What is way in the back? (Allow students to answer). We call this back part the background.
  • What is in the middle? (Point to it and allow children to answer.) This is the middle ground.
  • What looks like it's closest to you? (Allow students to answer.) We call that the foreground.
  • Which items look biggest: the ones in the foreground or in the background? (foreground). Yes, when artists use perspective, they paint the objects in the foreground larger, clearer, & brighter. The items in the background are smaller and not as clear or bright.

You will need:

  • Copies of paintings by Grant Wood
  • Grant Wood (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists) by Mike Venezia or other book on Grant Wood

Grant Wood (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists)
Grant Wood (Getting to Know the World's Greatest Artists)
This provides a nice overview of the life and works of Grant Wood. It was too long to read in class, but my children really enjoyed the parts we read and liked seeing the illustrations and paintings.

White Outline

3. Lead the children in creating the white outline of the picture.

  • Pass out black construction paper and a white crayon to each child.
  • Lead them in drawing the horizon line by measuring their pinkie finger of the left hand on the bottom of the page on the right side & left side. Draw a line straight across through those two dots. Now turn the paper so that line is towards the top. This is your horizon line.
  • Lead the children in drawing each of the pumpkins. The first pumpkin on the left is closest to you, so it will be the largest one. The one is the middle will be the middle-sized. The one in the back will be the smallest. That will make it appear like it's further away. (If children draw them too small, have them draw another set of 3 on the other side.)
  • Lead the children in drawing the lines coming from the vanishing point. Make sure the lines hop over the pumpkins!
  • Lead the children in drawing the barn and silo.
  • The can add something else to make it special (the moon, a scarecrow, corn plants, a horse, etc.).

You will need per child:

  • black construction paper
  • white crayon

Using oil pastels
Using oil pastels

Finishing the picture with oil pastels

4. Allow students to color the pictures using oil pastels.

  • The fun part of using pastels is mixing the colors, so don't just use orange for the pumpkins. Add in some yellow and red. Those 3 colors are what kind of colors? (warm) For the fields, don't just use green. Add in some blue and purple. Those 3 colors are what kind of colors? (cool)
  • As the students color, demonstrate how them can smudge together the colors using a paper towel or their finger. Just make sure to not smudge across your white lines!
  • If students finish early, let them create their own drawing on the back of the paper.

You will need:

  • oil pastels
  • paper towels

5. Take photos of each child and their masterpiece.

(This art project idea came from .)

Samples of Pumpkin & One Point Perspective Projects by students in 1st & 2nd grade
Samples of Pumpkin & One Point Perspective Projects by students in 1st & 2nd grade

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© 2018 Shannon


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