The First Month of Kindergarten in the Art Class (part 1)

The Kindergarteners are coming!  The Kindergarteners are coming! What in the world will you do with them?

One thing I have identified, is that Kindergarten students have the expectation that the paint is going to come out on the first day of class.  Yet, I want them to learn my routines and behavior expectations.  So I came up with this little one month unit that lets students get a little time to draw and make art, while learning how to get things cleaned up and on the drying rack in an orderly fashion.

We don’t get paint out on the first day, but we do get to draw!  I slowly release responsibilities as the month goes on and by the end the students are painting, printing, gluing and not trashing my room.

Each lesson has one or two children’s books that start and end the class.

Day 1: Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do you See?

On the very first day, I have a blue line taped to the floor that goes from the doorway to my carpet.  They all sit down and I praise the students who sit cross legged (criss cross applesauce) and quickly transition to talking about expectations.  I don’t explain every expectation, because this will overwhelm them and bore them.  I simply explain about raising hands and hands to self.

Then I quickly give them their assigned seats at the tables.  Once they are there, we look at the posters on the tables and talk about what might go on each label when we clean up.  Then we practice what heads down looks like and I call each table back to the rug.

I teach the students the “Red and Yellow Blues” song (found on this CD or iTunes) and we have a quick dance party.

Then its back down on the rug to read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Eric Carle.


After the story, I pull up this document (free on Teachers Pay Teachers) and use my SMARTBoard to draw the bear’s head.

Here’s a video of how I teach this:

The student go back to tables and draw the bear.  I go step by step one more time.  The kids who remember draw on their own and the ones who need to follow.

When the class is done, I have the students return to the rug to dance to the first 2-3 videos on this playlist:

If there is extra time at the end of class, I read Panda Bear, Panda Bear, What Do You See?

Day 2: Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

The second day is structured very much like the first  one.  This year I showed a video of my art room expectations that a class from last year helped me make.  After singing the “Red and Yellow Blues”, we sat down to read Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.

We get out the second page from my Kindergarten packet and draw the pigeon like this:

At the end of class we read Don’t Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late.

day 3: Swim Swim

The third day is structured very much like the first and second ones.   After singing the “Red and Yellow Blues”, we sat down to read Swim! Swim!

Then we got the final worksheet out and drew the fish like this:

At the end of class we read Nugget and Fang.

In my next post, I will write about the next three class sessions (with paint and glue and all the fun stuff!)


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