Curriculum For Arts and Humanities

Arts and Humanities is a wide encompassing area of study. This includes art history, art techniques, dance, drama, theater, and many forms of visual art. In this portion of our web site, we offer a number of resources to help you prepare lessons for this area of study.

Lesson Plans


Arts Background Sites


Educational Games

Art Teacher Sites

Teaching Ideas

Teaching Strategies

Teacher Resources

Educational Software

What Basic Art Skills Should Students Learn In School?

Of course not all children are born with excellent art skills but given the chance to explore in different art projects at home, in day care centers, or in their elementary schools, you will see how these children reveal their artistic sides. So what basic art skills should students learn in elementary school?

If you are teaching kids in elementary, you should start with art activities that will allow them to use their imagination. Here are basic art activities that will help elementary students develop their basic art skills.


If your students are on their 1st grade, their art skills will develop through collage, portraiture, and basic sculpture. In that case you may teach your elementary students to glue paper and non-paper items together and see what subject they will come up with. By using gluing activities you will see where your students are good at. Their subject will reflect what specific area they are most interested.

For instance, if you see them gluing papers and doing sort of a housing collage, perhaps that kid is interested with buildings and houses. That student can be a good architect or an engineer in the future.

For 3rd to 5th grade students, you may keep those glue bottles and expose them on using glue sticks. 3rd to 5th graders usually possess art proficiency. You will see that with glue sticks and other materials they start on gluing them to create 2- or 3-dimensional forms along with combinations of other art elements.


Usually art for children means a fun activity, and painting is more fun if elementary students use their own brush, color pallets, and they get to mix different colors. That way you will see how your students combine different colors and come up with great masterpieces.

Pencil drawing.

Allow your students to draw different shapes and shades through the use of different lead sizes. Pencil drawing is actually one of the basic tools in art and if you help your students continue to develop these skills, it can serve as their foundation in creating masterpieces in the future.

Encourage them to use subjects like plants, landscapes, buildings sceneries, animals, or even human portraits, of course depending on their grade level and interest.

Clay work.

Who says kids do not love clay? You can make almost anything out of clay. In starting a clay work activity, choose first the type of clay. Make sure you use clay that are non-toxic, non-staining, and are washable. These types of clays are usually labeled with "kids" when you purchase them. To help them create even better clay products you may also gather some tools they can use while doing their clay work. Depending on the age of the child, you may allow them to use small rolling pins (the lighter ones), plastic knives, cookie cutters, and a lot more so they can make different shapes and styles using their clay. Help them make their own creations besides for elementary students, art possibilities are just endless.

Basic sculpture.

Kids love to sculpt and mold. You can help them make their piggy banks, pasta bowls, pots, paper sculptures, and a lot more.

So what basic art skills should students learn in elementary school? There are hundreds of it, and you have just read only few of the basic art skills elementary students can do. Remember, equip your students with the art equipment they need like colors, pens, papers, clay, etc., and encourage them to think creatively and use their imagination. You may also give them ideas and from your ideas they can start creating their own.

Art Teacher Web Sites

If you are involved in teaching art, you will want to visit some of these great web sites. They are very helpful.

  1. Art Teacher on the Net
  2. ArtConnectEd
  3. Crayola Creativity Central
  4. Division of Arts Education
  5. KinderArt
  6. PBS TeacherSource: Arts and Literature
  7. Sassafrass Grove Arts Page