Art Enrichment

What is Art Enrichment? Acting as an extension to Barnsdale's art class, the program exposes students to the great masters and classical works of art that will not be covered in the current curriculum, while providing students with a working art vocabulary they can use to understand and discuss other works of art.

The program not only educates; it encourages artistic expression and sparks the inner creative abilities that lead to a life-long love of art, and opens a world of possibilities in every profession. Creative thinkers, with their ability to invent, imagine, create and problem-solve in a fresh new way, are responsible for the great achievements in every professional industry. From business and medicine to science and engineering, those with the ability to "think outside of the box" will lead the future.

Sign up to be an Art Enrichment Volunteer!


How does the program work?
Three times a year, volunteers and students engage in discussions about artists and their artwork through a variety of visual aids and fun projects. Visits are arranged with the teacher and can last anywhere from 30-minutes to an hour. One volunteer will be marked on the list as the lead and they will coordinate with the teacher.  We will do one art enrichment in November, February, and March or you can alter those dates if you need to meet the classes time schedule.

How do I get started?
Attached you will find the lesson plans for each of the three months.  There are bins of supplies for you to use for each project and books and props. The bins are marked with the name and the project in a cubby space near door 16.  Please do not take these home- they are to stay at school. At the Welcome Party there were several items donated to fill the bins- these are the supplies we will use for each of the projects. We will be doing self portraits in March to tie in with our Original Art Works Program - more details on that will be distributed as they come out.

What about art projects?
Please coordinate your art project with your discussion. We must remember we are limited on our supplies and time so we want to make sure we keep the projects easy but cover the lesson we are trying to teach. 

Video of Typical Project can be found on our YouTube Channel at:



Copyright Note: The text for many of the narratives on this site was taken from a wide variety of print and online sources. Please note that it is for background use for the Art Enrichment program only and should not be copied and distributed.

Lesson Plans Below

Primitive Cave Art


  • Participate in a discussion about primitive cave people
  • Tell at least one animal depicted in primitive cave art
  • Be able to describe one tool/material in making primitive cave art
  • Work cooperatively as a member of a small group


  • Artist-a person who creates art
  • Primitive art-art created by people with no formal art training
  • Realistic-art which looks like what we see in real life

What You Need:

  • Primitive art posters
  • Brown Paper (may be crumpled to simulate a rough rocky surface)-one per student
  • Hard vine charcoal-one per student
  • Red, orange, brown, black oil pastels-one per group
  • Globe (see classroom teacher)
  • Berries* (blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries) that can be applied with fingers, leaves, or sticks
  • charred sticks*
  • rocks*

*optional items


Hello. My name is ______.  This year we are going to talk about art and artists.  Who can tell me what an artist is?  (Encourage as much response as possible.  Try to bring out that an artist observes carefully and often sees things in original ways.  Talk about kinds of art-painting, sculpture, architecture, etc)

Today we are going to talk about primitive art and look at some paintings made over 20, 000 years ago by cave men.  The term primitive art means art that is made by people who have not had any formal training. About 90% of primitive cave art is located in Southern France and Northern Spain (show on globe).  People of that time lived in caves for shelter just like we live in houses today.  These caves were very large and had many passages and tunnels.  Some parts of the cave could even be underwater.

Most cave drawings were not located at the front of the cave or entrance.  Most often the drawings were deep inside.  Sometimes artists would risk their lives just to get to those parts.  Some had to swim across underground lakes and others had to crawl on their hands and knees in tight spots just to get where they wanted to draw.  The caves were very dark so the cave people used lamps made out of animal fat and wicks made out of dry fibers.  These “lamps” would burn about 5 or 6 hours at a time.

Some people today believe the purpose of the art was part of rituals or ceremonies such as marriage, birth, growing up and becoming an adult.  The paint used was made from rock.  Iron oxide made red and manganese oxide made black.  These rocks were ground up and mixed with animal fat to make paint.  Other paints were made from animal blood or berries.

The drawings were usually animals such as bison, bears, horses, deer, and wooly mammoths.  Sometimes bird and fish were also drawn.  The cave people often used the protruding areas of rock to enhance the look of the drawing to make it look more realistic.  Hand stencils were also used as a way of signing the finished pieces.  The artist would place his hand on the rock and blow paint all around it.  When he lifted his hand, it left a print.

Student Activity:

  1. Show posters and allow students to use a pointer to point out various animals on the walls of the caves.  Discuss what things they think were used to make the images, colors used, and purpose of drawing.  Ask why they think the images lasted so long.
  2. Divide class into small work groups.  Give each group a set of supplies and give each student his own paper.
  3. Allow students to draw and outline of an animal they would hunt if they were cavemen.

Optional Display Idea from Cedar Creek Elementary:

Make a cave in an unused storeroom or hallway by hanging wrinkled brown paper on the walls.  Glue their artwork all over and include plastic spiders and paper bats. Allow students to crawl in with flashlights and look at the cave.

Books and Resources:


Piet Mondrian and Abstract Art


  • Be able to describe abstract art in own words
  • Be able to tell one fact about artist Piet Mondrian
  • Participate in a discussion about lines


  • Piet Mondrian-an artist know for is abstract art pieces
  • Abstract Art-art that does not look like something we see in nature
  • Geometric shapes-

What You Need:

  • Mondrian prints
  • Black or white paper-one per student
  • Glue sticks-one per student
  • Pre-cut construction paper geometric shapes of rectangles and squares in all shapes and sizes in red, yellow, blue, green, and black


Hello.  My name is _________.  Today we are going to talk about abstract art.  Can anyone describe abstract art?

One artist who is famous for his abstract art is named Piet Mondrian.  He was a Dutch painter who was born in 1872.  Like many other abstract artists of his time he started as a realistic artist painting landscapes.  (Pause to ask students to describe realistic art).  Later in his career he started making his paintings abstract by representing objects by using lines, shapes and color.  Eventually, he began to paint only geometric shapes divided by black lines.  He used blocks of primary colors within the lines, but also left many of the geometric shapes within the lines white.

Student Activity:

  1. (Show Mondrian Prints)  What geometric shapes do you notice in these pieces?  Which print do you like best?  Why?
  2. Pass out white paper.
  3. Tell students to squint eyes while looking at something familiar.  Can you see all the details of the object?  Do you see only shapes and color?  This is how Piet Mondrian began to paint in the geometric style of using shapes and color to depict the world he saw.
  4. Pass out various geometric shapes and glue sticks to table groups.
  5. Using glue sticks and pre-cut construction paper shapes allow students to create an abstract work of art like Piet Mondrian.

Books and Resources:

Online color page-

Lines and George Rouault


  • Be able to tell one fact about artist George Rouault
  • Describe a portrait
  • Understand that lines express feelings


  • Line-a continuous mark made by pencil, pen, or brush

What You Need:

  • George Rouault “The Clown”
  • Sample faces of rounded, curved lines and straight lines
  • Face handouts (one per student)
  • Large dry erase board (in teacher classroom)


Hello.  My name is __________.  Today we are going to talk a little bit about lines.  What types of lines can you think of?  (Chart responses on dry erase board if desired.)  Can anyone come up and draw an original line for me?  (Allow students to come up and draw a line while asking others how the drawn line makes them feel.  Do you know that artists can use lines to say different things?  An artist can make someone look happy, sad, or mean just by making lines a certain way.  Here are some examples.

First, I am going to make a boy using many rounded, curved lines.  How does this boy look? (See sample faces handout to help guide your drawing. Then add the second boy using curved lines)  How is this boy different?

Now I am going to make a boy using lots of straight lines.  See, I am making his face long and thin with straight lines on the sides.  How does he look?  Can anyone change the way he looks by changing one line?

(Display “The Clown”)  This is a picture of a clown painted by a famous artist named George Rouault.   George Rouault is considered by many to be the greatest religious painter of the 20th century.  He grew up very poor as the son of a cabinetmaker.  When he was 14 years old studied to be a maker of stained glass.  However, during his apprenticeship he attended night classes at the School of Fine Arts.  He is known as a printmaker and illustrator of the famous book Miserere. 

Look at the clown closely with our artist eyes. How do you think this clown feels?  Why?  Look at all the straight lines.  Do you like this picture?  Why or why not?  Can anyone tell me what a picture of a person’s face is called?  (a portrait)  How could you change this picture to make the clown happier?

Are you ready to make your own line portraits?  In a minute I am going to give each of you a piece of paper.  On your paper you will see two ovals.  On the first oval, I want to you to make a face using only straight lines.  On the second oval, make a face using only curved lines.  You decide what kind of face you want to draw.

Student Activity:

  1. Pass out handout (one per student)
  2. Allow students time to work on their two portraits.  While students are working circulate to ask students what they think about their faces made.
  3. If time permits, allow students to share their drawings or have a gallery walk.

(A gallery walk is where all students leave their work at their working area and all students stand up.  Students circulate around their table to look at everyone else’s work before continuing to the next table.  The gallery walk ends after each child has rotated around all the tables to view his peer’s work.)

Books and Resources: