Lesson Plan

Line Expressions

Students will explore different line qualities in facial expressions and examine how change in line quality effects what idea and feeling is communicated
Gina B.
Self Employed Community Art Educator
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts, Health & Wellness

Students will be able to..

Identify straight, wavy, zigzag, and slanted lines in an art image

Explain how the lines used an an artwork conveys a personal idea

Use a variety of lines to create a facial expression art piece that conveys a mood or feeling

Explain how color expression effects the idea of expression

Use a variety of adjectives to describe a feeling or mood

Write about a topic



English Language Arts
Grades Pre-K – 2
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Free, Paid

Teacher creates a YouTube video of the school principal or an adult that they know making 3-5 dramatic facial expressions.  Each expression could last about 5 seconds. No sound or music in the background. The idea here is students will get to see a "grown up" in a context they may not have seen before or expected, and this will get their attention. They will be curious to keep watching to see what is going to happen next. They will begin to ask themselves what is going on, why is this adult making these faces?

Student Instructions

Students watch and react in class discussion by describing what they saw, and why they think the person had those facial expressions

2 Direct Instruction

Using the Artsite app display fine art portraits to view and describe the different lines artists use to create expression (be sure to identify straight, wavy, zig zag, slanted line). Give background info including title, and explain how the artist used these lines to create the expression and mood. Great examples are Edvard Munch's "The Scream" and Andy Warhol multi-colored self portraits. 


Refer to the term adjectives and similies.  Demonstrate using thesaurus as a resource



Student Instructions

Students identify types of lines they already know and describe lines they are not yet familiar with.


Student use the thesaurus to come up with a new title for the pieces of artwork to be displayed. 

Students share their thoughts in class discussion



3 Guided Practice

Teacher will now allow opportunity for students to start to build their own vocabualry list and explore facial expressions and line on ArtSite app. Students will collaborate with one another on their findings.

Student Instructions

Students will explore vocabulary using either Emotionary, iTouchiLearnfeelings, or a thesaurus app.  Students will come up with a list of emotions and feelings.

Students will view student work examples on Artsite app. They will view a gallery of line expression portraits made by other students from another time. Students will pick 3 faces they like and post comments explaining what mood they think the artwork conveys. They must site what lines they see that conveys each idea. Students must also site the colors used and explain why they think the artist used those particular colors.  There must be at least 2 adjectives to describe each expression.  When students are complete, they can share with the class one face they picked and what they wrote about it. The class can discuss any opportunities where 2 or more students picked the same artwork and talk about any differences and similarities between student interpretation. 

4 Independent Practice






Student Art project:

Demo to students sketching 4 facial expression using straight, wavy, slanted, and zigzag lines.  Sketch paper will be folded into 4 sections and each of the 4 sections will be a different mood. Demonstrate labeling of each of the four boxes to title each piece. Demonstratte referring to the thesaurus app once again for vocabulary ideas.

Demo printing process using cardboard, rope and glue to recreate the favorite expression. Show students to choose the most approrote paint color to cover their piece and flip to print on a final mount. 

Explain that students must have a title to each piece and a written story to accompant their artwork.  Younger students can have a small list of words to describe their piece. 

Part of the assessment piece will be to display the faces on the Artsite app. Students can have the opportunity to comment about what mood the piece is conveying. If the majority of the class agrees on a mood that matches the artist's intent, then this is a good way to see if the artist was able to convey their message through different varieties of line. 





Student Instructions


Students will fold their sketch papers into 4 sections and sketch a different facial expression/mood in each box. They will then use their thesaurus app to create a title for each of their pieces. 

Students will pick their favorite expression and transfer that image onto their own printing block.  The expression will be redrawn onto cardboard. Rope or string will be cut and glued onto all pencil lines. A meaningful paint color will be picked and applied to all string and rope. The image is flipped upside down and printed onto multimedia paper. Student work will be photographed and uploaded onto the Artsite app.

Students will comment on the class images and discuss what images clearly conveyed the idea the artist intended and what the artist did/did not do to show that meaning. 

5 Wrap Up

Teacher will contruct a voting presentation or poll with student work and pair it with an adjective for students to vote if the image displays that particular idea. 

Student Instructions

Students will take a poll/vote on what images match with certain emotions. Students will discuss results in order to comment on the class images and discuss what images clearly conveyed the idea the artist intended and what the artist did/did not do to show that meaning. 

Students can discuss what artists or themselves could have done differently in their art to convey their messages.