Feb 23, 2011

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O’Keeffe Flowers (Get Kids to Draw BIG!): Free Lesson Plan Download

Grade Level: 3-5 Art Education Lesson Plan

Art Elements: Color and Space

Art Skills: Drawing Large

Making Connections: Art History

* Get more free lessons like this, on our Lessons Page


Click to Download Free Lesson Plan

Click to Download Free Lesson Plan


I had nearly written off teaching Georigia O’Keeffe to 2nd grade students.  The last two years had proved to be less then successful.   The flowers were too small, I wasn’t happy with the materials I used, and nothing was “hall worthy” in my eyes.  So I went to my amazing art team, and asked them what their tips were for helping kids to draw big.

Tips for Kids to Draw BIG

  1. Tell them the flower feel off right off the paper!  This was such a cute suggestion!
  2. Students MUST touch all 4 sides of the paper with their object
  3. Give several examples and non examples of what is the right size and what isn’t
  4. Give students many different examples of TYPES of flowers to ensure variety
  5. Review the word OVERLAPPING and talk about how petals overlap

I can do this! So, armed with this bag of tricks, I used them all on the first drawing day with students.  I have to say, none of these tips were something I didn’t know, I just needed a reminder of how to best uses these tips and I also needed to not introduce just one of these, but ALL of these. So, I did, and it worked!

Here are some of the initial drawings, which I had the kids outline in Sharpie when they were done drawing.



After students outlined with Sharipe, I had them also define some parts with colored watercolor markers.  Then, the filled in the spaces with watercolor. If students choose a cool color for the flower, I asked them to do a warm background. If they had a warm colored flower, I asked for a cool background. This was a great review of Warm and Cool Colors for the students as well.

This great Art Ed lesson plan is 100% FREE to download! Use it in your classroom and share with your colleagues. For more free lessons like this one, visit our Lessons Page and download them all!

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  • Becca Ruth :)

    Love this! And by the way.. I just gave you the stylish blog award! Check it out here:

  • Erica

    To get my kids to draw bigger for Georgia inspired projects sometimes I take their original sketches and make a few different enlargements of it on the copier. I staple it tO their original sketch and it gives them a visual of how to enlarge something to the point of abstraction. They seemed to have gotten the idea this year for you.

  • MadisonArtTeacher

    Tricia Fuglestad has a great video she made with her kids called La La Land. I use this in my classroom when I want the kids to draw off the page. It’s really effective!

  • Louise

    Love it! You have inspired me to do this with my students!

    • Jessica Balsley

      Awesome!! You’ll love it!

  • Shelley

    Love it! We made them today and they look spectular!

  • Jennie Dejesus

    HI I love the size of paper you used! I have taught Georgia flowers in the past and what helps my kids make it “big” is to get them to practice on a post it that is placed on top of a piece of white paper. I tell them to start on the post it and draw the petals so they begin in the post it then end on the white paper (as you say fall off the paper…clever!!). THen they peel off the post it and see how the flower is supposed to be “blown up” on the page. They then recreate the same idea of drawing the flower petals off the page when I give them the real piece of paper and then I give them newsprint or newspaper under….and tell them to do the same thing. I’ve only done it on 8×8 squares but I love this size of paper! Very cool and vibrant! 

    • Jessica Balsley

      Smart idea with the post it- thanks for sharing!

  • The Frugal Teacher

    So awesome! Thanks for the step by step instructions. We did this in my class today and they came out perfect!

    • Jessica Balsley

      Your artwork looks amazing! I am so flattered to see some of these ideas put to work in another classroom- Thank you for sharing and I will be sure to add your blog to my reader.

  • Michele Gorham

    i love the post it note tip above (I love post-its!) Drawing big is a challenge! I do this project with my 3rd graders in the spring. We use black paper, glue and chalk pastels instead! they are beautiful! We draw with the glue after we make our pencil drawing. great ideas!