5th Grade Chalk Planets

My 5th graders have struggled all year to gain an understanding of the very basics in art class.
This is. after all, the first year our school has offered art since these guys were in Kinder! So it's been a grueling push to get them up to speed. This week I wanted to try out some advanced shading techniques to get a good feel for how much growth they've gained so far this year.
And I gotta be honest ya'll.
They did not disappoint!
Each student chose a planet card. 
Since shading and form concepts of a sphere are the same regardless of what planet they choose, I encouraged them to select different planets so we had a variety of pieces.
Here's what you'll need:

Full color photo examples
9x11 Black Sulphite paper
Chalk pastels
White tempura paint
Spray bottle

We watched two different videos to help give them an idea of the basic concept and steps to shading a sphere. 

I love using online demonstrations because it frees my hands up to provide support at each table while the video is going. 
It's almost like having a clone.
Love it!

Having two videos really helped for this lesson- some kids needed the verbal guided tutorial while others preferred to just see it in action.

Either way the results were amazing!

To add depth and space to their final piece, we created super easy stars.
I added white tempura paint with a splash of water into a plastic spray bottle.
Just your average spray bottle- nothing fancy.
The kids stood back about 6 feet and gave their work a little spritz.
Next time I may try silver or gold paint just for giggles.

Since not all spray bottles are made equal, I would recommend trying the spray bottle on a sheet of colored paper at different distances to test the results before letting the kids do it.

Good luck and may the force be with you! ;)


  1. Your students must have been so proud of their work! They turned out gorgeous!!!

  2. Good teacher's good students. Your students are really wonderful learner. They draw some wonderful pictures of planet.

  3. nice info

  4. These are wonderful! So glad to have stumbled upon your blog today. Love it! I will be back often... :0)

    Sarah @ Hoots N' Hollers


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