4th and 5th grade Happy Hearts

This project is a Pinterest fave.  I thought it would take them about 2 class periods to draw it, color it, and re-draw the lines in black to finish it off.  It takes longer than I anticipated, and getting the students to not mark off their A,B patterns at once (1st the background, then the heart) was challenging.  Several of them came out really wonderful, and it made my heart happy to see so many unique approaches to the same project.


We had 2 artist inspirations for this project.  One artist whose work inspired this project is Jenny Murphy.  As I was in art heaven at the Art Institute of Chicago, I was pleasantly surprised to discover a new artist, Sherrie Levine.  Her painting, Untitled (Check 2) was very Happy Heart-like!

Jenny Murphy happy hearts             Sherry Levine untitled (check 2)

I showed the students these inspirations on the SmartBoard and we discussed color theory and how to make sure our drawn hearts and backgrounds had high contrast for high impact.  We talked about how to use a color’s compliment if you weren’t sure what color to use.



We also played a game with a pack of markers called Dark, Medium, Light.  They told me whether a color was considered light, medium, or dark, and the markers were stacked accordingly.  Usually the medium and dark colors were the confusing ones – knowing which was dark and which was medium.  We learned that a good rule of thumb for your color selections is to ignore the marker tops because they’re not always true to what color comes out.  The best strategy is to do a quick color test on your test paper before adding it to your drawing.



I loved all the creative problem-solving this project invited.  Some students, despite mapping out with a pencil their A/B patterns, just got confused and put a color in a place that they didn’t want it.  We had lots of different ideas with how to get it where they liked it again.  Cutting out and gluing over a mistake, using White Out to change the color, trimming a section off – lots of wonderful problem solving came from this lesson.


This is pinned frequently as a sub lesson, but it worked great as a regular lesson.  Enjoy making your Happy Hearts!





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