Creative He(arts) Club

Creative He(arts) Club:

By: Lizbeth D. Chavez - University of Nebraska-Lincoln & Karen Martinez - University of Nebraska-Lincoln - This Portfolio is brought to you for free and open access by the Honors Program at DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln. It has been accepted for inclusion in Honors Expanded Learning Clubs by an authorized administrator of DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Copyright 2019 by Lizbeth Chavez and Karen Martinez under Creative Commons Non-Commercial License. Individuals and organizations may copy, reproduce, distribute, and perform this work and alter or remix this work for non-commercial purposes only.


Name of Club: Creative He(arts) 

Age/Grade Level: 3rd -5th grade 

Number of Attendees: (ideal number) About 8 students 

Goal of the Club: (learning objectives/outcomes) The goal of the club is for students to explore different areas in the visual arts–including drawing, painting, printmaking, and pottery– and gain knowledge about a variety of materials and skills. By the end of club, students will have expanded their knowledge in art history and have learned about the components, elements, and principles of art. At the same time, the projects planned will allow students to apply what they learn to their own creativity and ideas. 

Resources: (Information for club provided by) Daniela Chavez and Karen Martinez’s experience in high-school art classes 

Content Areas: (check all that apply) 

  • ☒ Arts (Visual, Music, Theater &Performance) 
  • ☒ Literacy 
  • ☐ STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering &Math) 
  • ☒ Social Studies 
  • ☐ Wellness (Physical Education, Health, Nutrition &Character Education) 

Outputs or final products: (Does the club have a final product/project to showcase to community?) On the last day of club (May 2nd), there will be an “artwalk” after club at 5:00 pm. Parents have been invited to come look at their children’s artwork in the art room. There will be cookies and drinks offered and by the end of the event, students will finally be able to take all their projects home as well as their art supplies. 

Introducing your Club/Activities: On the very first day of club, students will practice drawing from observation by doing a still life in the school’s hallway. They will then work on a painted self-portrait based on a famous painter for the following three weeks. After that, students will learn about printmaking– the different processes and artistic movements in art history that have used printmaking– and will make several prints to understand the idea that prints are often made in order to make multiples copies of a work of art–this project will last two weeks. In the final project (to make it exciting), students will work with clay to make a teapot or a lidded vessel. With this project, students will practice the name of the different tools used in pottery and the different methods one can use to assemble and build with clay. 

General Directions: Students will engage in a variety of art projects–each one exploring a different area in the visual arts– in order to explore different media, learn about art history, and apply art concepts to projects that will allow for freedom and creativity. 


  • It is okay if the activity does not go as planned 
  • Sometimes it is better to extend a project if the students are actually enjoying the project and learning a lot from it 
  • More doing and less talking–students learn more (and are engaged more) if you let them explore with the activity on their own rather than lecturing about it and telling them what exactly to do 

LESSON PLAN WORKSHEET (copy table as needed):

Lesson Activity Name #1: Still life drawing

Length of Activity: 1 period– 2/7/19 


  • Drawing sketchbook 
  • pastels 
  • compressed charcoal 
  • colored pencils 
  • markers 
  • drawing pencils
  • kneaded eraser 


1. The club’s purpose and goals will be briefly introduced to the students
2. Every student will share what the definition of “art” is for them
3. Students will be introduced to the definition of “still life” through a power point
4. Students will look at examples of still lives by artists such as Giorgio Morandi, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Cezanne, and Peter Claesz
5. Students will look at examples of still lives done by students their age
6. Students will each receive an art bin with a variety of drawing materials (pastels, compressed charcoal, colored pencils, markers, drawing pencils, and a kneader eraser)
7. The entire class will go out into the hallway and will draw the hedgehog still life on display using the different materials in their art bin 

Conclusion of the activity: Students went back to the classroom and shared their hedge-hog still life drawings. 

Parts of activity that worked: Students really enjoyed drawing with the different materials in their art-bin. It was a good idea to leave the classroom–it became more engaging for them to do an activity outside the normal classroom setting. 

Parts of activity that did not work: Students did not have enough time to complete their drawing and they were unable to go back to them later in the semester because we had to move on to the next activities. We had also intended to do quick gesture drawings before beginning a final still life in order for students to get comfortable with drawing from observation but there was not enough time to do so. 

Lesson Activity Name #2: Self-portrait

Length of Activity: 3 periods– 2/14/19- 2/28/19 (extended to 3/28/19) 


  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes 
  • Small canvases 
  • Palette knives 
  • Mirrors 
  • Easels 
  • Cups for water
  • Aprons 


1. Through a presentation, students will learn the definition of a “self-portrait”
2. Self-portraits of famous artists will be shown, and their different styles and techniques will be analyzed (vocabulary such as texture and color will be used)
3. Students will be expected to choose one of the referenced artists for the creation of their own self portrait
4. For the first week, students will sketch ideas for their portraits based on one of the referenced artists–they will use mirrors to continue drawing from observation
5. On the second week, students will transfer their sketched self-portraits onto their canvas and will begin painting
6. On the third week, students will continue painting and will finalize their self-portraits 

Conclusion of the activity: Students really thought in depth about which style they wanted to use in their portraits and provided each other supportive feedback/critique both during painting and when the paintings were done. 

Parts of activity that worked: Students were very engaged in the activity. I really enjoyed how many of them merged many of the styles used by the artists given in the examples. 

Parts of activity that did not work: I am not sure if this was really considered something that did not work, but by the end of the third week the students were still not done with their final paintings. We decided to extend the project for another week since they were really enjoying painting and were learning a lot from experimenting with the paint and the different colors and different textures they could create as well as from the ideas and compliments shared between the students. Also, some students decided not to wear aprons and they got some of their clothes stained (which was hard to wash off). After this, we decided to make aprons a mandatory thing. 

Lesson Activity Name #3: Lines and patterns in printmaking

Length of Activity: 1 period– 4/4/19 (extended to 4/11/19) 


  • Foam 
  • ink roller
  • ink (many colors)
  • printmaking paper
  • wax paper 
  • tape 
  • pencils 
  • scissors
  • apron 


1. Through a presentation, students will be introduced to the different forms of “printmaking” and the different processes each type of printmaking consists of
2. We will talk to the students about the importance of line, texture, and pattern in printmaking
3. The prints of the German expressionist group “Die Brücke” will be shown and the purpose of this group will be discussed
4. We will look at student examples of prints
5. We will then talk about and share ideas for student’s designs
6. Students will first sketch out ideas in their sketchbooks
7. Once they have decided what their design will be, they will draw it out on a sheet of foam
8. Students will cut out the parts they intend to leave white in the final print
9. Ink will be rolled on the remaining parts of the foam
10. The foam will be pressed onto the printmaking paper
11. Students will write their name (artist signature) on the bottom, right corner of their prints 

Conclusion of the activity: Students were really happy and amazed with the outcome of their prints– but they were also very sad when they were told they could not take their prints home after club that day. 

Parts of activity that worked: The fact that students did not have much experience with printmaking made the activity very interesting for them. At first, they were confused when the process of it was explained during the presentation. They finally understood how it all worked when we actually demonstrated how to make a print–I loved hearing and seeing them have their “aha!” moment. After this, they just wanted to keep making more and more since–I loved seeing this. 

Parts of activity that did not work: This activity was only supposed to last one club period. However, the week after this, when pottery was supposed to be introduced, there were only three students present and we decided to add another day of printmaking so students would not be left behind in the next project. Also, cutting the parts of the foam with scissors was not very successful (relief technique), therefore, we had to change plans. Instead of cutting out the foam, students simply drew on the foam with hard pencil lines in order to make deeper grooves that would be left white in the final print (something more similar to an intaglio technique). 

Lesson Activity Name #4: Teapots and lidded vessels

Length of Activity: 2 periods– 4/18/19- 5/2/19 


  • Air-dry clay
  • Clay building tools–loops
  • Potter’s needles
  • Ribs
  • Modeling tools– sponges
  • Cups for water 
  • Brushes
  • Acrylic paint 


1. Through a presentation, students will be introduced to the definitions of “pottery” and “clay”
2. Students will learn about the different methods employed in pottery–pinch, coil, slab
3. Students will look at examples of teapots and lidded vessels for them to come up with an idea–they will be allowed to make it functional or non-functional/representative or abstract
4. Students will be introduced to the names of the various tools used in pottery and we will reiterate them throughout the activity
5. Students will be encouraged to think of an idea or concept they want to represent in their teapot/lidded vessel: emotion, movie, character, etc.
6. They will also be prompted to think about the shape, space, size, and texture of their piece
7. Students will build their piece and let it dry
8. Students will finally paint with acrylic paint their final piece. 

Conclusion of the activity: The last day of this activity is May 2nd, so there has been no conclusion. We are hoping for students to finish building their pieces soon in order for them to have enough time to paint them. 

Parts of activity that worked: Students were very creative–their ideas and designs are very non-conventional and I like that. 

Parts of activity that did not work: During the presentation, students they were very energetic and were not very respectful–they made unnecessary and not very nice comments while looking at examples of teapots and lidded vessels. Students had to be asked several times to keep their comments to themselves. Even though this project is not over, them being done with the project before club ends on May 2nd is a questionable matter. If the printmaking project would not have been extended another week, there would have been more time for this more complex project. 

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Part of the Art Education Commons, Early Childhood Education Commons, and the Fine ArtsCommons
This Portfolio is brought to you for free and open access by the Honors Program at DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln. It has been accepted for inclusion in Honors Expanded Learning Clubs by an authorized administrator of DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln. 
Chavez, Lizbeth D. and Martinez, Karen, "Creative He(arts) Club" (2019). Honors Expanded Learning Clubs. 23.

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