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Folk Art Miniatures

Who can be an artist? There are plenty of well-known people but there are also lots of ordinary folks who are creating art and consider themselves artists too. What does their art look like?

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • 30 to 60 minutes
  • Directions

    1. Folk art is art created by people who taught themselves how to make their artwork. They didn’t get formal art training. How do you think that would affect what their art looks like? How about the subjects of their art? Some subjects of folk art are very every-day and some are filled with wild imagination. Show students some photographs of folk art to see what’s being depicted.
    2. Often folk artists make art out of found materials—stuff that they collect for free found around where they live. Have students study some examples of folk art to see what the works of art made of? Buttons, wood, recycled bottle caps, tinfoil are just some of materials used in successful folk artwork.
    3. Some folk art pictures are done on pieces of wood. Provide students with wood squares and rectangles from recycled wooden fruit boxes or another recycled source such as paint stirrers. Students think and brainstorm about what their subject matter will be.
    4. With Crayola® Color Sticks™ Colored Pencils, first draw a frame around the edge of the piece of wood. Next create a picture inside the frame.
    5. To display the artwork, poke a hole in each upper corner of the artwork with the closed tip of Crayola® Pointed-tip Scissors. Thread a thin wire through the holes to make a hanger.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    SCI: Offer causal explanations appropriate to level of scientific knowledge.

    SS: Describe ways in which language, stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions of culture and influence behavior of people living in a particular culture.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Use subjects, theses, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.

  • Adaptations

    If possible, take students on a field trip to the American Folk Art Museum in New York or a more convenient museum with a folk art collection. Prior to the trip, have students brainstorm the unique qualities of folk art. After the trip, students post new learning to a class blog.

    Encourage students to investigate their homes for examples of folk art. Use a digital camera to document the items. Load these digital files onto a classroom computer and write a brief description of the item and its history, if known. Organize these into an electronic presentation for classmates to view as a whole.

    After investigating the history of folk art, students discuss how folk art is connected to the concept of recycling. Students collect examples these connections and explain to classmates the connections.

    Folk art has been made since people began to create art. Students explore folk art from long ago and more recent folk art artifacts. What are the similarities? What are the differences?


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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