A SPECIAL GIFT – Texture, Balance, Unity

Students paint a coil pot (created in a previous lesson) and then arrange a few dried flowers and grasses in it to create a simple gift for someone special.

Required Time

80 Minutes

Grade Level



Language Arts
Social Studies
Visual Arts


balance colour contrast movement shape texture unity


Crayola Acrylic Paint - 6 Count Crayola Paint Brushes - 5 Count Crayola Scissors Floral Foam Crayola Air-Dry Clay Coil Pot - created in a previous lesson Water Containers Paper Towels Dried Flowers and Grasses Ribbon, Sisal Twine or Yarn

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A SPECIAL GIFT – Texture, Balance, Unity - Step One

Step One

  1. Paint your coil pot with 2 coats of acrylic paint.
  2. Set it aside to dry.
A SPECIAL GIFT – Texture, Balance, Unity - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Use the edge of a scissors to cut the floral foam so it will fit into your coil pot.
A SPECIAL GIFT – Texture, Balance, Unity - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Place the floral foam into the pot and push it firmly into place.
  2. It should fill the pot.
A SPECIAL GIFT – Texture, Balance, Unity - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Stick dried grasses and flowers into the floral foam.
  2. Make sure the arrangement is balanced and looks good from all directions. 
  3. You may want to tie a ribbon around the pot, or add other embellishments.
  4. Give your gift to someone special.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • paint a previously created coil pot;
  • create a floral arrangement using dried flowers and grasses;
  • use colour and texture to create balance and unity in a floral design; 
  • support their ideas with evidence found in the artworks.


Have students:

  • create a gift card using a printmaking technique available on this website, e.g., Greetings, Photo Transfer Greeting Card;
  • create a gift bag using the same printmaking technique;
  • write a note explaining how the person receiving the gift is special to them;
  • give their gift to someone special. 


  1. Prior to this lesson have students create a coil pot using the How to Make a Coil Pot lesson plan available on this website, and be sure it is completely dry. 
  2. Download and display the Texture, Balance and Unity posters available on this website.
  3. Teach or review the element of texture - how the surface of an object feels or looks as if it feels, and the principles of balance and unity.
    - balance - the arrangement of elements so they seem equal in weight
    - unity - the arrangements of elements in such a way as to highlight their similarities so that it looks like everything goes together
  4. Teach students about plants and wild flowers.
  5. If possible take students on a nature walk and collect dried grasses and flowers, otherwise purchase a small selection.
  6. Download images of flower arrangements from the Internet, for example,
    Flowers in Vase
    Rousseau Flowers


  1. Conduct a read-aloud with a book such as Rabbit’s Gift, by George Shannon focussing on: 
    - gift giving in general
    - why and when we give gifts
    - how we choose the gifts we give
    - favourite gifts
  2. View and discuss the images of flower arrangements focussing on the use of colour, shape, texture, positive and negative space, and balance in the arrangements.
  3. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Paint your coil pot.
  2. Create a pleasing, balanced dried flower arrangement.
  3. Use contrasting colour and texture to move the eye in and around the composition.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment.

The Process

  1. Make sure everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - painted the coil pot carefully
    - added floral foam to fill the pot
    - used a variety of colours and textures in my floral arrangement
    - used my own ideas
    - placed flowers and grasses so they look good from all sides
    - created a balanced arrangement
    - created an arrangement that is in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Part way though the lesson stop the class and remind them to look at the arrangement from all directions. 
  5. Observe students as they work. 
  6. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Have students work in groups.  Provide a piece of coloured fabric for each group to place on their tables.
  2. Ask groups to work together to make a pleasing arrangement of their finished gifts.
  3. Ask students to gather in front of the displays and to look at the works thoughtfully.
  4. Ask them to find an interesting thing about any 3 of them.
  5. Move from display to display discussing the work at each spot.
  6. During the discussion include references to:
    contrast – how it has been used to balance the arrangement
    movement – how colour and textures get the eye to travel through the whole space creating unity
    feelings the works evoke and how someone might feel to receive such a special, handmade gift


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their artworks – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to details on the floral arrangement, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads - Gift_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - Gift_self-assessment.pdf)