Keith Haring is a favorite artist of mine to study with 5th grade. When I teach this lesson, we practice drawing Haring figures using the principle of design called, “proportion.” Then we brainstorm how to contort the bodies into positions, replacing certain parts with other inanimate objects and removing other parts so people appear hollow. My students really dig that the figures are so simply created.
Every few years I tweak my approach to this art lesson based on other lessons for that year. Some years this is simply a collage project. Other times it’s been marker and paint, or collage and marker. I’ve even made a Keith Haring roll a dice game based on it!
Regardless of the approach, my students enjoy this art project because they don’t have to worry about drawing “perfect” figures, especially if we’ve already done a more realistic drawing project preceding it.
I have a few video clips that I like to use at the beginning of the first few lessons to get them excited about the lesson. When the music comes on and I turn it up, they’re all really surprised and not expecting it! Here are my favs:
And here’s one I use to show them the artist in action. I think it’s important for students to see the artist in action and to hear from him or her about their intention in creating the art. What I like about this video is that it features students of all races and nationalities talking about the impact that the project had on them and their community.
Keith Haring Art Projects
I love the playfulness of all of these student artworks! They did an amazing job.