MY NAME BEGINS WITH . . . – Shape, Colour, Detail

Students draw the first letter of their name on a piece of corrugated cardboard, cut it out and paint their own, unique design on it.

Required Time

40 Minutes

Grade Level

Kindergarten to Grade 3


Language Arts
Visual Arts



Crayola Paint Crayola Paint Brushes Crayola Scissors Corrugated Cardboard - about 20 cm x 25 cm (8" x 10") - 1 per student Water Containers Plastic Container Lids for Palettes Paper Towels Pencils

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MY NAME BEGINS WITH . . .  – Shape, Colour, Detail - Step One

Step One

  1. Use a tracer or draw the first letter of your name freehand on a piece of corrugated cardboard about 20 cm x 25 cm. (Downloads - AlphabetTracers.pdf)
  2. Carefully cut out the letter.
MY NAME BEGINS WITH . . .  – Shape, Colour, Detail - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Paint your letter in a unique way.
  2. Mix colours to make new colours.
  3. Paint shapes and objects.
  4. Paint the outer edges of your letter.
MY NAME BEGINS WITH . . .  – Shape, Colour, Detail - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Make sure you let the paint dry between colours.
  2. When you are finished view your letter with fresh eyes.
  3. What does your letter make you think of? Why?
  4. What do you like the best about your letter? Why?

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • draw the first letter of their name on a piece of cardboard;
  • cut out the letter;
  • paint their own, unique design on the letter;
  • mix colours to make new colours;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity;
  • work independently and self-regulate;
  • share their ideas with peers.


Have students:

  • arrange all the letters created by the class alphabetically;
  • compare the number of repeated letters with the number of missing letters;
  • create a new artwork using the ideas in the Name Sculpture lesson plan available on this website;
  • work in small groups to create a display of their sculptures;
  • share the work with others.



  1. Prior to this lesson have children practice printing their names and upper case letters.
  2. Gather corrugated cardboard from boxes and packing material.
  3. Download and display the Colour posters available on this website.
    - review or teach the element of colour – mixing colours and tints
  4. Gather, and make available, alphabet books and books about names, for example, The Name Jar, by Yangsook Choi; Naming Ceremonies, by Mandy Ross; My Name Is Yoon, by Helen Recorvits; Eating the Alphabet, by Lois Ehlert; Star Wars ABC-3PO: Alphabet Book, by Calliope Glass, Caitlin Kennedy, and Katie Cook; Animal Alphabet: Slide and Seek the ABCs, by Alex A. Lluch; and M Is For Mountie: A Royal Canadian Mounted Police Alphabet, by Polly Horvath.
  5. Depending on your students, you may decide to have them use tracers for their letters and/or cut out their letters for them ahead of time. (Downloads - AlphabetTracers.pdf)
  6. Set up a painting centre with pencils, scissors, cardboard, paint brushes, washable paint, plastic container lids, water containers and paper towels. 


  1. Conduct a read-aloud using a book such as My Name Is Yoon, by Helen Recorvits focussing on what makes a name important and special.
  2. Invite students to think about their own name and what they like about it.
  3. Ask students to point out the letter in the alphabet that is the first letter of their name. 
  4. Introduce the centre.
  5. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Draw the first letter of your name on a piece of cardboard.
  2. Cut out the letter.
  3. Paint your own, unique design on the letter.
  4. Mix colours to make new colours.
  5. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.
  6. Share your ideas with others.

The Process

  1. Ensure that everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - used my own ideas
    - drawn the first letter of my name correctly
    - cut out the letter
    - mixed colours to make new colours
    - painted my own design on the letter

    - kept the letter in good condition
  3. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work.
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Once all the letters are complete display them for a group discussion. 
    Look closely at the letters.
    - Choose one that interests you for some reason.
    - Share thoughts about the work.
  2. Guide students by asking:
    - What does it tell you about the person who created it? - What do you see that makes you say that?
    - What do you notice about the way the work has been made?
    - What do you like the best about this work?


  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 areas in the work, 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 - MyName_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - MyName_self-assessment.pdf)