Integrate a little fine art into your Earth Day lesson plans with a simple (and sweet) watercolor painting. I completed this Earth Day art project with my own kindergarten students last week and it was a huge hit. This blog post breaks the entire process down into small, easy steps that will give all students a feeling of success!
I love, love, LOVE the simplicity of this project and I know that you will too!
Earth Day Watercolor Project Supplies
One of my favorite parts of this Earth Day watercolor art project is how simple all of the supplies are. No fancy templates or downloads are required! Here is all that you need:
- white cardstock
- watercolor paints
- black crayon
- heart-shaped template (I created mine from from an old manila file folder)
Creating the Earth Day Heart Picture
Once you’ve gathered your materials, you’re ready to get started!
1. Trace the Heart: have students place the heart template in the center of the cardstock and trace around it with a pencil.
2. Draw land areas: Use the pencil to add a few “blobs” to the heart and create the appearance of land.
3. Add radiant lines: draw lines that extend from the heart to the edges of the pages. This will give the appearance that the heart-shaped earth is shining.
That’s all the drawing that’s required! Now it’s time to trace.
4. Trace lines with a black crayon: Use a black crayon to trace on top of each pencil line. Encourage students to add a little extra pressure and make nice dark lines with the black crayon. This step is simple but oh-so-important to help prevent the paint colors from running together.
Painting the Earth Day Art Project
Once all of the pencil lines have been traced with black crayon, your students will be ready to paint!
In my kindergarten class, I gave step-by-step painting directions so the students would be mindful of using the proper colors. Keep scrolling for simple painting instructions!
5. Paint the land: paint all of the blobs in the heart green to represent land
6. Paint the water: use blue paint to represent the oceans in the heart-shaped earth
7. Paint the background: paint the sections around the earth by alternating red, orange, yellow and purple. The completed project is quite stunning!
Now that you have seen the tutorial, let me share a few photos from when I did this activity in my own classroom. We completed this painting during VIP day so each of my children had an adult by their side for the project.
Having an extra set of hands is not necessary, however. I would gladly do this same project even on a day without any classroom volunteers. As long as you provide step-by-step directions and only give one or two instructions at a time, kindergarten students can have success completing this project independently.
Here you can see students carefully tracing their pencil marks with a black crayon.
Then it was time to paint! Notice that the students used green watercolors to paint the land first, then added blue oceans to the picture.
It’s important to tell students how to use watercolors successfully. They don’t intuitively know how much water to use. I always give plenty of reminders to keep the paints wet, but not soaking wet. I remind the class that if they want dark colors, the paints should only have a little bit of water in them. The lesson is worthwhile because every single painting that my students created was just as vibrant as this one!
I mounted the completed paintings on black construction paper.
Isn’t this just gorgeous?!?
Interactive Sight Word Readers for Earth Day
Integrate literacy into your Earth Day lessons with the Interactive Sight Word Reader “We Can Take Care of OUR World.” Students will work to spell the sight word “our” while reading about many items that we can recycle to care for the Earth.
More Ideas for Earth Day
Get Your School Involved
Teach your students an authentic lesson in ecology… create a school-wide recycle center! Many standard classroom supplies (such as glue sticks, crayons and markers) can be recycled! Read all about my school’s Recycle Center and discover resources to establish one at your school too!
What are your classroom plans for Earth Day?