The first drawing assignment I presented to Kapaa Middle School’s 6th, 7th, and 8th grade Art students requires some imagination! I stumbled upon this lesson idea while exploring Jodie Hurt’s website (another middle school Art teacher who posts on the web!), and decided that it would be a fun way to start off the new school year.


Students learned how to look at a picture of an animal or object and break down the complex image into simple shapes. First we practiced contour drawing before adding the pencil drawings and color inside.


After completing their drawings, students wrote EXPLANATORY PARAGRAPHS about the artistic process. Even after successfully completing the artwork, it was a challenge describing what this “pencil drawing” was all about!


I’m including the ASSESSMENT RUBRIC for the assignment, which includes both Hawaii’s Content & Performance Standards as well as Common Core, for any other teachers out there who might want to try this out!


By Julia

8 thoughts on “Pencil Transformation”
  1. You mentioned Common Core Standards… I’ve have looked all over the internet and can not find them for the visual arts! Where did you find your information because my district is converting over Common Core as well as learning targets and we are stumped.



  2. Hi Autumn, Unfortunately you’re right… There are no common core standards for Art. At my school, elective classes are using the literacy standards for “Technical Subjects.” Science, Social Studies, and Technical subjects are sort of lumped together.

    Basically, I am still following the State Standards for Visual Art, and just adding a reading or writing component to each lesson to satisfy the common core requirement. (The link to my rubric might also help).

    Good luck!

  3. Just wanted to say thank you for posting this! I have been looking for this lesson for a long time. Seriously fun and creative I bet the kids will love it.

  4. I like this project because it looks nice. I especially like the rhinoceros. This year I hope to learn how to make things out of stuff like crafting.

  5. I think its cool because its made out of pencils. I hope we learn how to draw things made out of pencils too. I would like to make a picture of my mom made out of pencils.

  6. I really like how the drawings are like pencils and how they made it like animals. Looks really cool and amazing.

  7. I love the way that everything is connected and just the silhouette of the object is drawn, and that the rest is made of pencils. I would really love to do this project and also the half portrait one that you cut the drawing in half and finish it. I thought those two projects were very cool along with the clay tikis that look very amazing. It would be awesome to do something like the tikis this year.

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