Yellena James Art Game
Are you looking for a creative art project to teach about modern women artists? Going to be absent and need last minute art sub plans? Fill up your sub tub with engaging art lessons like this Yellena James art game that engages students. It’s how I get students excited to learn art history! Step-by-step picture directions and the included PowerPoint presentation with close-up, detailed photos will guide your students from start to finish.
Teach your students about abstract art as well as how Yellena overcame personal obstacles as a refugee from the Bosnian War. Learn a little about her art process and how she uses balance and harmony to lay out her designs. And check out her book, “Star Branch, Spiral, Fan: Learn to Draw from Nature’s Perfect Design Structure” which details her creative process.
This lesson is perfect for Women’s History Month in March.
Are you trying to foster more independence in your art room? This roll and draw art game makes for the best and most productive early finisher activity for your students. You can set up a choice-based art center where students select an activity amongst different ones. Print out the game board and directions back to back, put them in a labeled folders, and let them pick what they’d like to create. This is similar to a directed drawing activity in which students are guided through the art process.
If you’re a teacher looking for a differentiated art lesson that boosts independent thinking, problem-solving, and skill-acquisition, this will do the trick.
You will design a Yellena James seascape by rolling the die and collecting the different patterns required to create it.
- First, create a background using the wet-on-wet technique (wet your paper with water, then use liquid watercolors to paint it while it’s still wet).
- As it dries, roll the die twice to pick two different branches from the first column. Sketch it on a seperate piece of drawing paper.
- Roll again to select two stars. Draw them.
- Continue rolling two times for the last three columns to pick two fans, spirals, and misc.
- When your background is dry, begin drawing some items using permanent markers. You may find it helpful to sketch very lightly with pencil first. But then erase it a little so it doesn’t show.
- Next, paint in some shapes using the watercolors, while leaving others as outlines. You may even choose to paint in some negative space areas, too.
- Lastly, some outlines can be painted with watered down white acylic paint.
I’ve included three ways students can generate their design. The first is the game board where students roll the die to select their parts. The second is a “you pick” board. Both of these are printables. And lastly, for teachers needing engaging lessons during distance learning, I’ve added digital spinner wheels!
First, print out the Yellena James art game and picture directions back-to-back. Then give your students dice and watch them have fun creating their own art project independently. If you have access to a smartboard or projector, use the accompanying PowerPoint presentation. It will guide the students during each part of the art project.
Once completed, have students use the self-assessment rubrics to evaluate their artwork based on craftsmanship, creativity, following directions, work habits, project goals, and clean up. And then have them complete the “Big Ideas” sheet so they can connect the creation process to their learning.
If you are substituting or need a fast finisher activity, use the included coloring page.
6th – 9th Grade
Main Learning Objective
Students will be able to paint a Yellena James inspired seascape painting using liquid watercolors, permanent markers, and acrylic paint.
- Watercolor Paper
- Drawing Paper
- Colored Permanent Markers
- White Acrylic Paint
You Will Receive
- 12-Page, Non-Editable PDF (Yellena James Art Game)
- 10-Page, Non-Editable PowerPoint Presentation
- Dice Game
- Choice-Based Drawing Version of the Game
- Yellena James Biography Handout
- Step-by-Step Picture Tutorial and Directions
- Visual Arts Self-Assessment Rubrics
- Artist “Big Ideas” Reflection Sheets
- 8, “I CAN” Statements Aligned to the Studio Habits of Mind
- Practice Drawing Page
- Coloring Page
- Paperless Google Drive digital resource for students (also for use in Google Classroom, Schoology, Canvas, Seesaw, Microsoft OneDrive, Teams, and anywhere else you can share a link to a file…link on the bottom of page 2)
- Digital Spinner Wheels in the download as well as on Google Slides and YouTube (links on the bottom of page 3)
My students really enjoy activities that involve doodling. ~ Jennifer Y.