Primary Chalkboard: How I Use Art in My Classroom

How I Use Art in My Classroom

Hi friends! It's Haley from My Silly Firsties! I'm so excited to share how I use art in my class with you! I know that authentic learning is a huge "buzz word" in education, and it's one that's very close to my heart! One of the easiest ways I have found to promote engagement and learning in my class is to use art as much as possible! 

It's easy to think that art is "fluff" but I don't believe that's true! Of course, some art can be a bit "fluffy" but sometimes that's okay too! They're babies after all! :) 

I wanted to show you some examples of how we have used art in the past few weeks, and then I have a few tips for you! 

For this project, we were studying stars in the sky. We read this awesome nonfiction book, and then they drew the constellation they wanted to create. I helped with the glitter part, hahaha. Of course, we had someone just write Elsa for their constellation. Of course...I can't even remember what my teaching was like before Frozen! 

This amazing directed drawing is from Jennifer over at First Grade Blue Skies! They had SO much fun! I am a HUGE believer in Directed Drawings!! They teach listening, following directions, creativity, and so much more!  After our drawing, they trace in sharpie. They are getting SO good at that. After they trace, we painted. :) I love paint...and I have never had parents complain about a little paint on their clothes! :) 

Here's another idea I grabbed off of Pinterest at this link. This was a great discussion piece about why the trees look different in each season. There are lots of variations of this project, but we just used paint. :)  

 I LOVE the Green Giant for teaching visualization!! We had SO much fun reading this poem together and drawing the giant!! 

 We have just started our American symbols unit, and after a little video and discussion I let them make a mural with their table mates of the American symbols. We weren't quite ready for the group mural, we ended up cutting out each piece. :) 

Here are the tips I have! These are the things I keep in mind when I am lesson planning and thinking of how to integrate art into our week! :) 

Make sure the kiddos know WHY they are doing what they are doing!! Just like anything else, it's important they are able to identify why they are doing an activity. Occasionally, we will have free art as a reward but usually it's directly tied to what we are studying! 

Art is something that doesn't come easy to some of my sweeties. So it is the PERFECT time to talk about our brain's ability to grow! We talk ALL.THE.TIME about practicing! Art can lead to frustration, but it's those teachable moments that will stick with kiddos! 

"It's okay that this is hard for you! Just keep going! Think about how much you have grown as an artist this year!" 

In my room, I have a few "rushers." They are usually my super high babies who can fly through things! I'm okay with them flying through some things...because they get it, and their little brains process that fast! But art is something I can expect them to take their time and be NEAT. It takes a few times of giving them their work back and telling them you know it's not their best! But after that, they will get it. :) And they will start doing their best...most of the time! :) 

I know paint and sharpies are MESSY...clothes go home with spots on them, hands are filthy, and our tables are destroyed. But it is SO worth it. Don't be afraid! If it turns out badly, you can call me and I'll come clean it up! :) 

I hope this post helped you think of some ways to integrate art into your daily instruction! Thanks for reading!! 


  1. Paint and sharpies sound great! What type of paint do you use?

  2. Hi Julianne! This is what I use! :)

  3. Great post Haley! We love sharpies and watercolors as well! Art is an amazing extension for literature, writing, science and so much more:)

    The Resourceful Apple