Ancient Egypt Chalk Art for Sixth Grade (and Pinterest bonus!)



Do you study ancient Egypt at your school? Here is a colorful, successful art project inspired by the art of ancient Egypt.


  • black construction paper, 12″x18″
  • pencils with eraser tip
  • chalk pastels
  • black oil pastel
  • reference photos
  • hairspray or other fixative
  • newspaper to cover tables

We looked at images from King Tut’s tomb, old issues of National Geographic magazine (I think they cover Egypt every year!), and reviewed images of the Egyptian gods.

Students were instructed to select a subject and draw it on the black paper. Encourage students to 1) draw  LARGE (fill the sheet) and 2) don’t add too many tiny details.

I model drawing with an eraser: draw layout lines on the black paper only using the eraser.  If you mess up, just wipe away the rubbings and try again.

After students draw with pencil, they should go over their pencil lines with black oil pastel. Color in the portraits with chalk pastel. As a final step, retrace the oil pastel lines a second time.

Spray with hairspray or other fixative to prevent smearing (note: this will dull colors somewhat).


This art project is adapted from the Arts Attack curriculum. In addition to my reference photos and the Arts Attack drawing aids, I offered three step-by-step handouts from the library book How to Draw Egypt’s Sights and Symbols (ISBN 978-0823966820).

Pinterest bonus: here are some ancient Egyptian pins that I have collected for next year:

You can’t go wrong! Kids LOVE ancient Egypt. Enjoy!

Andy Goldsworthy Art in the Garden

Famous artist Andy Goldsworthy is fascinating. Our 5th graders were amazed at an artist who creates  and photographs art made from gathered leaves, mud, twigs, ice or rocks.

We began by viewing brief videos of Andy Goldsworthy on YouTube.

We discussed the repeating motifs in Mr. Goldsworthy’s work, including serpentine lines, spirals, and a circle with a hole in the center. We also looked at examples of stacked stone.

Students wend to the school garden and created temporary art works from materials found there.


A group of fifth graders worked together to make this dry-stacked rock arch.

Leaves arranged by color.

Early finishers made insect sculptures!


I took the photos initially, then turned over the camera to some early finishers who shot the rest of the photos.

Most students chose to work in pairs or groups for this project. Several said it was their favorite art project EVER! A few watched the YouTube videos again at home.

Next time you have good weather, consider an Andy Goldsworthy project.

Mini Monet Impressionist Art

Do you love impressionism? Want to create memorable artworks? Try this Mini-Monet lesson plan from the Blick website. It even has an instructional video!

I adjusted the materials list from the Blick website. Here is what I used:

  • Shrinky Dinks shrink plastic, Frosted Ruff ‘n’ Ready, size 8″x10″, cut into quarters (tip: cut it on the paper cutter)
  • chalk pastels and spray fixative OR
  • colored pencils
  • easily removable masking tape, such as artists tape
  • color photos of impressionist art from books, notecards and calendars
  • oven or toaster oven and oven mitts
  • baking sheet
  • fine-tip gold pen (optional)
Tape the Shrinky Dink, rough side up, over a section of the impressionist book or note card. Trace image onto Shrinky Dink. Use short strokes to mimic Monet’s and other impressionists’ style.

Students tape shrink film over impressionist art, then trace with pastel or colored pencil.

Bake in the oven according to directions on the Shrinky Dink package. Shrinky Dinks shrink when baked, starting at 4″x5″ before baking and about 2″x1.5″ after. When baking Shrinky Dinks, do not remove from oven until the plastic ‘comes up’ (folds and shrinks) and ‘comes down’ (flattens). Count to 30, then remove.

After tracing, remove tape and bake plastic in oven. Here is one after shrinking.

Kids are going to want to watch this!  If you are doing this in a small group setting, let them watch the shrinking process through the oven window.

Completed Mini Monets

If you use chalk pastels, you will need to spray them with a fixative AFTER BAKING (hair spray is fine). If you don’t, they more likely to smear. You do not need to spray if you used colored pencil.

As a finishing touch, color the thickened edges of the shrunken artwork with gold marker.

Add a magnet, pin back, display as a group or on mini-easels.

This project would look great with Van Gogh’s artwork. Students will like tracing his short brushstrokes with pastel or colored pencil.

Do you have a favorite impressionism project? Leave a comment!


Olympic Sport Sculptures

Olympic volleyball trophies made by fifth graders


Olympic archery

Sumo wrestling is NOT an Olympic event, but it makes for a cool sculpture.

Women’s gymnastics

Student designed the water polo sculpture so it is different on each side: reverse shows player with torso above water.

Want the full lesson plan?  All the details are on my earlier posts: part 1, and part 2.

I just love the Olympics!!!! My favorite summer events are men’s and women’s gymnastics.

Have you ever made an Olympic or sport project with your students?

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