Art Lesson Plans

Art is part of the middle school curriculum in the United States. Generally, students like art because it’s quite different from other subjects like math, science, geography, history, foreign languages, and so on. To make the classes more interesting, middle school teachers use art lesson plans to teach the students about techniques, concepts, and art history. In this article, let’s explore the various topics in middle school art lessons.


Drawing is one of the fundamental skills in art education. It can be done with just a pencil and a piece of paper. By the time they go to middle school, most students should have some basic exposure to drawing. In middle school, their skills are enhanced. Art teachers can use simple art lesson plans to help middle school students develop their drawing skills more fully.

  • Drawing Lessons: Great drawing lesson plan for middles school students.
  • Exercises: Try this interesting exercise to illustrate the “Vase/Faces” optical illusion.
  • Observation Drawing: In this lesson plan, middle school students would learn how to draw by observation.
  • Portrait Drawing: Teachers can use this lesson plan to teach students how to draw portraits.
  • Figure Drawing: Middle school students would learn the basics of figure drawing in this lesson.
  • Rain Forest: Simple lessons to teach students how to draw foliage, primates, insects, and flowers.
  • Drawing with Wire: A fun lesson where students are taught how to draw with wire.
  • Drawing Anime: Middle school students would be delighted to learn how to draw in the anime style.


Other than drawing, middle school students would also be doing some painting. Painting requires the laying of acrylic or oil paint on canvas with paint brushes. This is a relaxing activity which is useful for relieving stress so most students would enjoy it. However, there are different techniques to be learned in painting and teachers can use a suitable art lesson plan to promote the skills of the students.

  • Impressionism: In this lesson plan, middle school students would be exposed to the works of Claude Monet, and encouraged to paint like the master.
  • Cubism: Students would learn about Cubism and learn how to create a self-portrait in Cubist style.
  • Still Life: A great lesson for teaching students to paint still life. 
  • Color Theory: Great foundation for aspiring middle school painters.
  • Silk Painting: In this lesson plan, middle school students would learn the art of silk painting.
  • Painting: Middle school teachers can customize this lesson to get students to create a 7-layer painting.
  • Texture: A good lesson plan to teach students about texture in art.
  • Pointillism: Students would learn the pointillism technique in this lesson.

Pottery & Ceramics

In pottery and ceramics, students would use clay to shape and create three-dimensional objects. This is a departure from two-dimensional art lessons so students would have to use different skills in planning and visualizing the artworks. Then, they would be working on the potter’s wheel to make functional and structural forms of pottery. Art teachers can use art curriculum lesson plans to help middle school students learn the craft of pottery.

Mask Making

Children like to play with masks so they would be interested in learning how to make their own masks. In ancient times, people of various cultures use masks to express their emotions and thoughts. Masks are also used in songs and dances in many countries. The materials used in mask making are simple and easily available. To make the lessons more fun and interesting, teachers can use some art lesson plans.

  • Symbols: In this lesson, students would learn about calacas, catrinas, and skulls used during the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico.
  • The Mask: The lesson plan introduces students to the mask as a ceremonial object in West Africa.
  • Mask Making: Shows how to make the mask of a creature.
  • Bear Mask: Students would learn about bear masks and how to make them.
  • African Clay Masks: In this lesson, students would learn how to make African clay masks.
  • Plaster Bandages: The lesson can be modified to suit middle school students.
  • They Put on Masks: Lesson plan and activity on masks.