Chalk Pastel California Missions for Fourth Grade


Fourth graders made chalk pastel drawings as a complement to their California history social studies unit.  Allow two 40-minute classes.


Thinking about a successful, fun art project for a 4th grade California Mission lesson? Try this  art project from Deep Space Sparkle, easily adapted for a California Mission project.

Mission San Juan Capistrano

Mission San Diego de Acala, San Diego, California


  • black, dark blue or purple construction paper
  • chalk pastels
  • black or dark blue oil pastel for outlining
  • hair spray (or other fixative) to keep completed artwork from smearing

Examples of completed 4th grade student work:

Deep Space Sparkle has all the instructions and a downloadable drawing aid for adobe architecture.  You may want to print out this California mission coloring page to use as a Mission drawing aid.

This art project fit in beautifully for our school’s annual 4th grade California history field trip. This year: Rancho Buena Vista Adobe. In past years: Mission San Juan Capistrano.


Don’t let students blow excess pastel color. During class, provide a piece of newspaper so they can tap off the excess.

After class, I washed down the tables with a bucket of plain water and a large sponge. Expect to change the water and rinse the sponge out after just a few tables – they get really dusty – but it is worth it for such a successful project.

The completed artwork will smear unless you spray it with a fixative (I use ordinary unscented Aqua Net hairspray from the drugstore). Please spray the artwork outside!


UPDATE: New Photo tour of Mission San Diego de Acala! Full color photos of Mission San Diego PLUS PHOTOS OF REAL SIGNAGE from the exhibits. A great resource for your classroom, Mission San Diego field trip or mission project. Just $5 each. Click here for Mission San Diego PowerPoint.  Click here for Mission San Diego Keynote.


Kindergarten Wheels Drawing

The kindergarten made their wheel drawings today.

Kindergarteners use circle templates as a starting point for drawing wheeled vehicles.


This is one of those lesson plans that is perfect for a single 40-minute kindergarten class.  It takes no prep or clean up. Kindergarteners love cars and trucks. The use of circle tracers (various sizes of jar lids) for the wheels makes this lesson highly successful.


  • white drawing paper
  • pencils and erasers
  • circle tracers: assorted jar lids, old masking tape rolls, etc.
  • crayons
  • reference photos of things with wheels (cars, trucks, wagons, bikes, etc.)



  • Show pictures of things with wheels.  Discuss how wheels are circles.  Look for other shapes (squares, rectangles) in the pictures.

Pass out paper, pencils, erasers and various sizes of circle tracers.  Ask students to draw something with wheels.  Remind them to add a background or road. After 10-15 minutes, pass out crayons and allow students to color in their designs.



Kindergarteners often draw themselves and family members in the vehicles.



You may see drawings of all kinds of imaginary wheeled vehicles. Great!

I have a computer and projector in my art room and try to teach with powerpoints.  You can download my kindergarten wheels powerpoint here.

This would also be a great substitute lesson plan.

The kindergarten wheels lesson was inspired by this fabulous lesson on trucks and tractors at Deep Space Sparkle.

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