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Collaborative Vase

Created for Saturday Art with University of Cincinnati (Ages 9-10)

Lesson Summary:
In this project students will collaborate to create one final piece. Students will discuss meanings flowers might have and view Van Gogh’s Sunflowers. Students will then create one flower that will be a part of the final vase. They will create a contour line drawing with pencil and add colors and line weight with colored pencils. They will be able to see how little pieces can build up to a more powerful final product through working with their peers. 

Specific Objectives:
Students will:

  • Create a flower or plant they think represents themselves.

  • Collaborate with other students to create one final piece.

  • Reflect on how their flowers are different alone versus as a part of their collaborative piece.

Materials List: White Paper 11’’x 11’’, Colored Paper 8.5’’x 11’’, One Large Piece of Paper cut from roll to 3’, Colored Pencils, Scissors, Glue Sticks, Pencils, Pencil Sharpener

Instructional Aides: Book on flower meanings, Example of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers

Vocabulary: Collaboration, Blending, Contour Line, Silhouette


Pre-class Preparation:

  • Have instructional aids out and accessible to introduce the concept to the students.

  • Have supplies sorted and set aside to hand out after instruction has been given.

  • White paper should be cut to 11’’x 11’’ and stacked

  • Colored paper should be stacked

  • Colored pencils should be sorted into bins equal to the number of tables/groups with at least one of each color per table/group

  • Scissors, glue sticks, and pencils should be each prepared in a bin and be handed out one per student

  • One pencil sharpener per table/group

  • Assign student to hand out the different materials when time comes for distribution.


  • Have students come in and sit on ground as a group.

  • Introduce the concept of working together to create art and have students spend 5 minutes getting to know the people around them. They should learn at least 2 names and one fun fact about each of those students.

  • Show students Van Gogh’s  Sunflowers and introduce the idea that they will each be creating a flower to represent themselves to contribute to their own vase of flowers.

  • What do they want to communicate about themselves through their flower? What is important to them? Color, shape, size, etc…

  • Explain about how different flowers have different meanings, ask students to name meanings they associate with different kinds of flowers then give examples from the book, show which flower you might choose for yourself.

Art Activity:

  • Demo Drawing the contour lines and blending colors on the petals with the pastels. Demonstrate cutting out the colored flower and a silhouette from the colored paper by layering the drawn paper on top of the colored and cutting both at once.

  • Send students to desks/tables and assign students to hand out supplies.

  • Once students are seated, they should get out a pencil and a white piece of paper.

  • They may spend time thinking about what flower or plant they would like to draw and may reference book if they desire. Instructor may need to aid.

  •  Once they decide on the flower/plant they want to draw students should begin creating a contour pencil outline of their chosen flower/plant. Instruct the students to raise their hand if they have any questions or they think they are ready to move on to using colored pencils. They should not get out colored pencils without checking in with the instructor.

  • Students should add color and blend multiple colors on the petals/leaves as well as going over their contour lines with the colored pencils.

  • Once they have added their color students should check in with their instructor again.

  • Next students should pick a color of paper to create their silhouette as they cut out their flower.

  • Once they have both papers students should cut around the edge of their flower.

  • Students should then arrange flower with silhouette paper and glue them together with drawn flower in front and colored silhouette in back.

  • Once all students finish their flowers they should work collaboratively to arrange them on the final piece with the vase.

Clean up:

  • Assign different tasks to different groups to work together to clean.

  • Colored pencils and pencils should be returned to their proper places.

  • Paper scraps should be thrown out if too small to save, paper scraps big enough to be used again should be gathered.

  • Unused paper should be stacked in 2 stacks, whit and colored.

  • Glue sticks and scissors should be gathered and put in proper places, checking glue to make sure lid is on.


  • Have students discuss the meanings of their flowers as they arrange them together, how does their flower tell others something about themselves?

  • Have students discuss how the flowers displayed together changes how someone might look at them versus if they were all displayed separately.

  • Discuss what the vase tell the viewer about their group?


Hare. (01/24/2023). Fill A Giant Flower Vase. Becker Middle School

Roux, Jessica. (2020). Floriography. Andrews McMeel Publishing

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