36 Purposeful Art Activities for the Classroom


Written by Holly (Teach Starter)

Are you looking for quick and easy, yet purposeful visual arts lesson ideas for your classroom?

We’ve all been there… with such a crowded curriculum and the pressure to cover a number of topics within the school week, The Arts are often scheduled for a Friday afternoon. Sure, you can quickly search YouTube for a guided drawing video, often related to another subject area, and you are done! Whilst this is totally a purposful art lesson, doing this every week may not be extending your students knowledge of the Visual Arts.

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So, in the interests of helping busy teachers, we have put together some Visual Arts teaching posters and resources to help with your art lesson planning.

Art Elements Posters

Our Art Elements Poster Pack is the perfect starting point. Visually explain the different art elements of Visual Arts to your students with these beautifully designed posters for the classroom.

Art Elements Posters for the Classroom

Art Activity Task Cards

Once you have discussed and even investigated and analysed famous paintings focusing on the different art elements. You can pick between 28 different art activities in our Art Elements Activity Task Cards.

This pack is available in both British English and American English, and includes four different activities for each of the art elements:

  • colour
  • line
  • shape
  • texture
  • space
  • form
  • value.

These task cards were created with the busy classroom teacher in mind. All materials and directions are explained in a kid-friendly way.

The materials have been kept to a minimum and use the kind of supplies that most classroom teachers will have in their art cupboard/shelf.

Art Elements Activity Task Cards

Crazy Hair Line Drawing Art Activity

In this art activity, students create a portrait of someone with crazy hair by experimenting with different types of lines.

All that is needed is a lead pencil, white card, a black marker, oil pastels and crayons.

Neverending City Art Activity

In this art activity, students create the illusion of a city that goes on and on by using different shades of the one colour.

Again, very few materials are needed, yet students will love creating this art piece. A lead pencil, white card, paints and paintbrushes are all they need!

For more amazing art activity ideas, check out our Art Elements Activity Task Cards.

Aboriginal Art Unit Plan

Another fantastic art idea is for your students to learn about the history of Aboriginal art in Australia and the variety of techniques used.

In this unit plan – An Introduction to Aboriginal Art, students explore the traditional techniques of:

  • Aboriginal rock art
  • Aboriginal sand drawings
  • Aboriginal bark paintings
  • Aboriginal body painting
  • Aboriginal Wandjina artworks
  • Aboriginal x-ray art
  • Aboriginal cross-hatching
  • Aboriginal dot painting.

Aboriginal Art Unit Plan

Art Work Display for the Classroom

Displaying students artwork is a critical component of Visual Arts within the classroom. Here’s an idea we love, plus it will save you time at the end of the year.

Dedicate a wall in your classroom to display your students’ artwork. Create a banner using our selection of display banners for the classroom.

Using our editable tray labels you can create a special section of the artboard for each student.

Hot tip: use manilla folders as the backdrop for each students’ artwork and use manilla folder clip fasteners, each week add your students’ artwork to the folder.

Art Gallery for the Classroom

At the end of the term, you can simply take the folder down off the wall and send it home as their art portfolio.

Art Portfolio Ideas for Classroom Teachers

For more information, check out our video:


Share your art activity ideas in the comments of this blog… we’d love to hear from you!

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36 Purposeful Art Activities for the Classroom

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