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A Line is a Dot That Went For a Walk Lesson Plan

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Lesson Plan #: AELP-PRO0200
Submitted by: Katherine Walker Schlageck
Email: klwalk@ksu.edu
School/University/Affiliation: Beach Museum of Art, Kansas State University Date: October 18, 2000

Grade Level: Preschool Education, Kindergarten


  • Arts/Process Skills

Duration: 1-2 hours Description: This lesson, part of a series called Elements of Art Extravaganza, introduces young children to one of the basic elements of art using a variety of interdisciplinary art activities.

Goals: To show young children the importance of lines in drawing/art.

Objectives: Students will be able to:
1. identify different types of lines.
2. develop art vocabulary.
3. practice lines through a variety of interdisciplinary activities.



  • flip chart
  • art poster(s) or postcards
  • magic markers
  • sheet of white drawing paper for each child

Activity #1:

  • various pieces of yarn, ribbon, pipe cleaners, etc.
  • glitter glue pens
  • colored electrical tape
  • glue
  • construction paper
  • magic markers or crayons

Activity #2:

  • magic markers
  • white paper (8 1/2 x 11)
  • rulers if desired

Activity #3:

  • variety of musical instruments: drums, kazoos, triangles, recorders, rattles, etc.

Activity #4:

  • hard soap (hotel soaps work really well)
  • black construction paper
  • brightly colored crayons or cray pas
  • water (sink or large tub)
  • drying rack or lots of newspapers
  • rubber gloves
  • children’s book: When a Line Bends… a Shape Begins , by Rhonda Gowler Greene, illus. by James Kaczman

Activity #5:

  • shallow box – shoe boxes and lids will work, stationery boxes, etc.
  • marbles
  • tempera paint – red, yellow, and blue (additional colors if you desire)
  • paper cut to fit the box lid
  • shallow bowls for paint

Vocabulary: dotted, wavy, straight, spiral, fat, thin, curvy, zig zag, vertical, horizontal, diagonal, parallel, perpendicular, and angle Procedure:
Review the types of lines on the flip chart — have children draw the lines on their own piece of paper. Include the following types of lines: dotted, wavy, straight, spiral, fat/thin, curvy, zig zag, vertical, horizontal, diagonal, parallel, perpendicular, and angle. Have art prints/postcards available for students to look at. Ask them to describe the types of lines that they see in the pictures.

Use the activities below to reinforce line concepts (for each activity, please refer to the materials list above):

Activity #1 : Yarn drawings or glitter glue drawings
Have students create different types of lines. Pipe cleaners work well for creating zig zag or wavy lines. The glitter glue works well for dotted lines. Other materials can be placed vertically, horizontally, and diagonally. Colored electrical tape makes great wide lines; yarn is good for skinny lines. Discuss the types of lines with the children when the work is finished. Ask them what each type of line is called to reinforce vocabulary.

Activity #2 : Line Blankets (look similar to Navajo blankets)
This project works well for kindergarten students. Show the students pictures of Navajo blankets (choose striped blankets). Have the children put the paper in front of them vertically (as you would if typing). Starting at the bottom and working up to the top, have them make different types of horizontal lines – wide lines, thin lines, zig zag lines, and wavy lines – using different colored markers.  Have the child fill the whole page. If you wish, fold the paper in half – across the 5 1/2 inch mark.  Have the child start at the bottom and work up to the fold. Then unfold the paper and copy the lines going backwards to create a symmetrical blanket. Colored electrical tape can be used for wide lines if you desire. Space the tape out and use wavy or zig zag lines in between.

Activity #3 : Line Dancing (with instruments)
Have students decide which instrument goes best with each type of line – e.g. triangle for dotted lines, rattle for curvy line, kazoo for straight line, etc. Then decide what type of movement is appropriate – sliding step for straight line, hopping on one foot for dotted line, walking pigeon toed, etc. Practice the movements, play Simon Says, create a Conga line, etc.

Activity #4 : Disappearing Magic Line Drawing
Give each child a piece of black paper, and have them make a line drawing with soap. This should look like a coloring book drawing – caution them not to fill in areas with the soap. Scribble drawings are fine. Discuss the types of lines the child used before going on to the next step. Color in the drawing with crayons or cray pas (cray pas give a more vibrant color). Rinse the drawing underneath water until the soap lines disappear – make sure the child watches while his lines disappear! Discuss the project, focusing on what purpose the lines served. Read When a Line Bends… a Shape Begins , which will talk about lines as outlines to create shapes.

Activity #5 : Marble Drawings
This activity is a great way for young children to reinforce the idea of  A line is a dot that went for a walk… Place the paper in the box lid. Put a marble in a bowl of paint and coat it with paint. Gently lay the marble on top of the paper in the box lid. Carefully tip the box from side to side so that the marble rolls around, creating a line as it rolls. Repeat with other colors until desired result.

Assessment: Go back to the activities the next day to review – you can look at the art posters again to define the various lines. Ask students to share and describe the lines used in their artwork.