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Lesson #3 of Emotive Art Unit


Painting, Social Awareness


K, 1st, 2nd


Art, Social-Emotional Learning


50 minutes

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New Jersey


Google Docs


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Caring for Our Oceans (Emotive Art #3)

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Nov 28, 2022


This lesson engages students with an environmental issue and allows them to use their artistic skills to create an artwork about caring for the oceans. 

Step 1 - Inquire: Students read Somebody Swallowed Stanley and discuss the colors and emotions in the book.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students practice art techniques.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students create artworks about oceans and display them around their school or local community for others to view.


  • Students learn about caring for the ocean through the reading of Somebody Swallowed Stanley.

  • Students practice artistic techniques in their own artwork.

  • Students are taking climate action through the awareness created in their artworks.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is lesson 3 of 3 in our K-2nd grade Emotive Art unit.

  • Teacher will need to decide artwork materials to be used and organize them prior to the lesson.


  • The artistic format is open for the teacher to decide based on student abilities and prior knowledge.

  • Students can be supported in the creation of the artwork by having examples on display or pre-cutting collaging materials if this mode is chosen.

  • Students could be extended by adding their own description to their artworks.

This lesson allows students to learn about how to create an appealing piece of art to communicate the impact of environmental degradation by human activities and to also lead in climate action. On that account, this lesson is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Visual & Performing Arts
    • Visual Arts: Standard 2 - Organizing and developing ideas.
      • 1.5.2.Cr2a: Through experimentation, build skills and knowledge of materials and tools through various approaches to art making.
    • Visual Arts: Standard 8 - Interpreting intent and meaning.
      • 1.5.2.Re8a: Categorize and describe works of art, by identifying subject matter, details, mood, and formal characteristics.
    • Visual Arts: Standard 11 - Relating artistic ideas and works within societal, cultural, and historical contexts to deepen understanding.
      • 1.5.2.Cn11b: Describe why people from different places and times make art about different issues, including climate change.
  • Teacher reads the picture book Somebody Swallowed Stanley out loud to the students. A copy may be borrowed from the library.

  • Before reading, teacher tells the students that they will be focusing on what lesson the picture book is telling us and how the illustrations help teach that lesson.
  • During reading, teacher pauses to discuss how swallowing Stanley affected each of the animals.
  • After reading, teacher discusses the lesson in the book. Teacher flicks back through the book, pausing to discuss the colors and emotions expressed by Stanley and the animals that helped teach the lesson.
  • Teacher can choose the artistic materials, style, and skills for students to create their artworks from the ideas below.

  • Teacher can allow students to continue to develop their watercolor techniques or collaging techniques from the previous lessons or create the artwork using mixed media.

    • Watercolor artworks: Teacher can guide students by creating a Stanley outline for students to paint using chosen colors. Students can also add their own animals and ocean scenes to the artwork.

    • Collaging artworks: Teacher can include materials for the students to collage such as magazine cutouts, tissue paper, recycled paper, and soft
      plastics for students to use to create their artworks.

    • Mixed media artworks: Teacher can guide students through the exploration of mixed media by creating an artwork using tempera or acrylic paint, oil pastels, and chalk pastels.

      • Students create a background using the tempera or acrylic paint by blending different colors.

      • The next day or lesson, teacher can demonstrate the difference between oil and chalk pastels. The students can draw in Stanley using the chalk pastels.

      • Students can then add other details into their artworks with the oil pastels.

  • Teacher creates an example with the students, discussing the colors chosen to share a message in the art piece.

  • Students create their own artworks about oceans by implementing the techniques learnt over the previous lessons.

  • Students share artworks with an audience to create awareness on the issue and to share the student’s developed artistic techniques.


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