Sample K-6 Art Lesson Plan for simple relief sculpture

Don't worry if you don't have much arts education or training - that's not a problem because the lesson plans we provide have simple step-by-step instructions and teacher tips to assist you with your kindergarten and elementary school art projects.

Sample - Cardboard Relief Sculpture Creations

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Motivation Techniques:

Teacher should create samples ahead of time. Look for and gather other examples. Discuss sculpture, relief sculpture, and how they differ. Show examples, samples, and demonstrate the process. During demonstration, be sure to show students various ways of attaching parts.


Scratch paper, 6 X 9" and 4 1/2 X 6" pieces of smooth, white mat board, fine sand paper, tempera paints (acrylic paints optional), Mod Podge water-based sealer (optional), brushes, water cups, thick tacky glue, small plastic beads (1/8" and 1/4" sizes), heavy scissors or sewing shears, strong thin string for hanging, paper or plastic hanging tabs, small metal hole puncher (the kind used in metal jewelry- making)


  1. Use the scratch paper to design your idea: simple animals, people, or objects. Idea can be realistic or whimsical.

  2. Transfer your idea onto a 6 X 9" mat board piece. Make it big enough to fill the space.

  3. Look at your idea. What parts would look good as slightly dimensional pieces?

  4. On a smaller 4 1/2" mat board, draw the extra pieces you think you'll need to create that "dimensional" look.

  5. Use tempera paints to paint all parts and pieces. (If your budget allows for it, use acrylic paints instead because they are "self-sealing". You won't need the Mod Podge if you use acrylics.) Paint the side edges also.

  6. When your parts are dry, cut them all out with the scissors or shears. (Cut carefully or you'll get ragged edges that will need a lot of sanding. But do use sand paper where necessary.)

  7. When all parts are cut, coat with Mod Podge, if you used tempera paints. Coat the backs and sides, too.(Skip this step if you used acrylics.)

  8. Use the tacky glue to glue on beads where the extra parts will be used to create your relief effect. Let dry.

  9. When beads are dry, add glue to the bead tops and attach the extra relief parts. Let dry.

  10. Your idea should now be finished. Decide if it will need a string for top hanging (as in hanging an ornament) or a back tab for hanging on a wall.

    Note: If it will need a string for top hanging, use the metal hole puncher to carefully punch a hole at the top (try NOT to punch the edge). Cut a length of string to tie into the hole.

    Note: If your shape will hang on a wall, glue a hanging tab on the back near the top (not too close to the top or it will show from the front).

Lesson Plan Outline

Grade Level:

Taught to 6th grade but can be simplified and downgraded one or two levels.


  1. To reinforce skills in using line, shape, and form.
  2. To teach relief sculpture skills.
Criteria for Educators

Learner Outcome:

Students will apply skills and knowledge necessary to create shapes and structures in relief sculpture form.

National Goals:

  1. Understanding and applying media, techniques, and processes.
  2. Using knowledge of structures and functions.

Achievement Standards:

  1. Students intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of their experiences and ideas.
  2. Students select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of their ideas.


Did finished object have good relief parts?
Was assignment carefully cut and sanded where necessary?
Were glueing and painting carefully done?
Were all directions followed?


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