Outside The Lines


Doodles Academy

Grade Level:

Upper Elementary & Middle


Mixed Media

Each Outside the Lines project pack is designed around an essential question that guides the entire pack. These are big, interesting, and meaty questions that provide lots to think over, discuss, and make art about.

They include:

  • Background information around the core topic/essential question

  • Diverse artworks and artist biographies for reflection and discussion

  • Exciting art projects with flexible material choices

  • Discussion prompts and assessment strategies

  • Direct links to core content areas

  • Linking to the Teaching Tolerance Standards

  • Spanish translations of student handouts.

For each project pack, you can download the entire first key idea for free (each project pack has four key ideas). More than just a visual sample, this offers ready-to-teach content.

Lesson Title: A Portrait in Time

Objective: Learn about the experiences of others, learn how to articulate their own experiences.

Essential Question: How do artists create art that communicates their experience?

Description: During the segment, students will learn about an artist who recorded historical events in a sketchbook, and then create their own sketchbook. They are challenged to record their lives and experiences over the course of a week.

Link To Lesson: https://indd.adobe.com/view/af1ac05e-7425-4441-b94d-448da1adb284

Lesson Title: America is Hard to See

Objective: Students will understand that to be 'American' means to draw from more than one cultural background.

Essential Question: What does it mean to be an American?

Description: Students will understand that countries and cultures can be symbolically represented using color and patterns. Students will create a folded ‘Heritage Book’ and research and record the colors and patterns that represent their cultural makeup.

Link To Lesson: https://indd.adobe.com/view/8076fcfe-7560-44d8-acce-05f7478c4e91

Lesson Title: A Place in Space

Objective: Buildings and spaces are reflective of a particular moment in time.

Description: Students will understand that buildings and spaces reflect the cultural ideals and concerns of a particular group of people in a particular moment in time. They will then design an ideal home for a fictional species of space creatures.

Link To Lesson: https://indd.adobe.com/view/83573a6b-41b4-4601-8be2-28558b1de691

Lesson Title: The Introspective Artist

Objective: Journals help us reflect, understand ourselves, and process big feelings.

Essential Question: How can we use art to better understand ourselves and our unique experiences?

Description: Be introduced to visual journaling as a private space that can be used to record their perceptions, knowledge, and experiences. Students experiment with visual journaling by following a series of prompts

Link To Lesson: https://indd.adobe.com/view/d1587323-bd3b-40cc-b25c-71e33968d5c2

Lesson Title: Heroes Among Us

Objective: A heroic habit is standing up for the rights of others. During this particular segment, students will learn earn an ‘advocacy badge’ by creating an artwork that can be shared on social media (or one of the alternatives that are suggested) to raise awareness for a moral cause that they connect with.

Essential Question: How do you develop the skills to become a hero?

Description: Students think about who they consider heroes, and are led to a definition of hero as someone who makes a sacrifice or takes a risk for the sake of others. Students then examine two heroic children and, through their stories, learn about an element of heroism: advocacy. Finally, they are introduced to what they will be doing for the first three key ideas: hero training.

Link To Lesson: https://indd.adobe.com/view/a324f0d1-b69b-44ee-b0a0-a5ad9da0e4c5

Lesson Title: Where do we go from here? Resilience in the age of Climate Change.

Objective: Students will learn about climate change.

Essential Question: How can communities adapt in the age of climate change? What tools do they need to make this possible?

Description: Students will learn about climate change, then collaboratively create a fictional city based on real-regions in the United States. They discuss how the specific regional effects of climate change will effect their city. They create a persona for themselves as a citizen of this city and draw a portrait of themselves as this citizen.

During the following key ideas, this continue to create their fictional town, and are able to explore and think about how communities adapt and build resilience, as well as environmental justice through the fictional town that they are collectively developing.

For the concluding Key Idea, students move away from the fictional town and apply what they learned to their real-life community. They learn about climate activists and strategize ways that they can use art to bring attention to climate threats that will effect their real-life community

Links To Lesson: https://doodles-academy.org/where-do-we-go-from-here-landing-page/

and https://indd.adobe.com/view/a564c431-b791-469c-ab99-8e8129dc8386

Lesson Title: Fashion & Culture

Essential Question: How does clothing represent aspects of self and culture?

Description: Style, color, pattern, and motif can be a visual language.

Learn: Students will learn about the language of color and pattern and how that ‘language’ can shift depending on cultural background and understanding. They will examine how they interpreted color, look at how those same colors are interpreted around the world, and then look closely at the colors, patterns, and symbology of Kente cloth.

Look: Students will discuss, examine, and interpret Abdoulaye Konaté’s work. Konaté uses traditional West Africa cloth to create large-scale, symbolic artworks.

Create: Students will identify a tradition they participate in and design a weaving that represents their experience of this tradition.

Link To Lesson: https://doodles-academy.org/fashion-culture-project-landing-page/

and https://indd.adobe.com/view/50208144-45db-4b23-8552-2414ced94277

Lesson Title: Frame of Reference

Essential Question: What does it mean to be a ‘Historical Fact’?

Description: KEY IDEA 1: An understanding of ‘fact’ can be based on subjective, inherited information.

Learn *(1): Students learn about and discuss what makes a map a map. They learn about visual elements that they need to be able to identify in order to read and understand a map.

Look: Students look at Alighiero Boetti’s Map of the World, specifically at how they reflected the political views of the artisans he worked with.

Learn (2): Students learn about cartographers, and that although we tend to think of maps as ‘fact’, maps are actually artistic renderings, representing the cartographer’s understanding of a variety of collected or inherited information.

Create: Using a group locale (e.g., neighborhood), students chooses a part of this locale that is personally significant (e.g. their house) and creates a map. These segments are then pieced together into a collective map of the locale.

*The learning section for this Key Idea is split into two.

Link To Lesson: https://doodles-academy.org/frame-of-reference-landing-page/
and https://indd.adobe.com/view/b61aeeae-22b8-499a-8269-6afc9656309d