OIL PASTEL GREETING CARD – Shape, Colour, Contrast

Students use oil pastels on a piece of clear acetate to create a greeting card for a specific purpose.

Required Time

60 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 1 to Grade 6


Language Arts
Social Studies
Visual Arts


blend colour contrast


Crayola Oil Pastels Crayola Permanent Markers Crayola Construction Paper Crayola Marker & Watercolour Paper Crayola Washable School Glue Crayola Glitter Glue (optional) Pencils Clear Acetate - 11 cm x 13.5 cm (4.25" x 5.5") Clear Plastic Corner Stickers - 4 per student (optional)

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OIL PASTEL GREETING CARD – Shape, Colour, Contrast - Step One

Step One

BEFORE YOU BEGIN – test the acetate. Make a mark on each side with an oil pastel and choose the side that works best. Simply rub off the oil pastel marks with a paper towel once you have completed this test.

  1. Draw a rectangle the same size as the transparency on a piece of drawing paper. 
  2. Draw your picture inside the rectangle.
OIL PASTEL GREETING CARD – Shape, Colour, Contrast - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Place the overhead transparency on top of the drawing.
  2. Trace the drawing onto the acetate with a Crayola permanent marker.
  3. Draw directly on the acetate with the oil pastel and do not outline with marker first.
OIL PASTEL GREETING CARD – Shape, Colour, Contrast - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Place the drawing on the desk, marker side up.
  2. Colour the drawing with oil pastels.
  3. Blend colours.
  4. From time to time clean the tips of the oil pastels with a small piece of paper towel.
OIL PASTEL GREETING CARD – Shape, Colour, Contrast - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Place the picture, oil pastel side down, on different colours of construction paper until you find the colour that looks best.
  2. Fold the construction paper in half short end to short end.
  3. Use small drops of white glue or clear photo corners to attach the picture to the paper.
    Your picture will be reversed.
  4. Write a message inside the card.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create a greeting card for a specific purpose;
  • use oil pastels on acetate to draw an appropriate design for a specific purpose;
  • use blending techniques to create contrast;
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.


Have students:

  • work with oil pastel techniques using the Exploring Oil Pastels lesson plan available on this website;
  • use a variety of oil pastel techniques to draw pictures based on a theme they are studying.


  1. Download the Colour and Contrast Posters available on this website.
  2. Cut clear acetate overhead transparencies (the 'write on' type) into quarter sheets.
  3. Gather and make available picture books about snail mail, for example, The Jolly Postman Or Other Peoples Letters, by Allan Ahlberg, and Janet Ahlberg; Dear Mr. Blueberry, by Simon James; Sincerely Yours: Writing Your Own Letter, by Nancy Loewen; and Dear Mrs. Larue: Letters From Obedience School, by Mark Teague. 


  1. Discuss card giving in general.
    - Why and when do we send/give cards?
    - How do we choose the cards we give?
    - What are some of their favourite kinds of cards?
    - How have cards changed with technology?
  2. Brainstorm reasons to make and send their own cards, focusing on people they would want to send a special card to and why.
  3. Focus on the purpose or theme of the card, and what an appropriate design would be. 
  4. Introduce/review the characteristics of contrast and how it can be achieved using oil pastels and blended colours. 
  5. Introduce the challenge


The Challenge

  1. Create a greeting card for a specific purpose.
  2. Use oil pastels on acetate to draw an appropriate design for a specific purpose.
  3. Use blending techniques to create contrast.
  4. Demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.

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:
    created a design suits the purpose
    - applied colours so they are bright and strong

    - blended colours to create contrast
    - paid attention to detail
    - kept the card is in good condition
  3. Demonstrate the technique as you guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work.
  5. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Place students into groups of about 6.
  2. Ask them to share thoughts about the works.
  3. During the discussion include references to: 
    Colour – How does blending the colour contribute to the overall design?
    - Design – How does the design suit the purpose of the card?
    - Technical Accomplishment – How does attention to detail contribute to the overall design?
  4. Ask volunteers to share some ideas with the whole class.


  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, holds card to the side, 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. Have students reflect on their own artworks in their sketchbooks. Ask students:
    - What worked well in your artwork? Why?
    - What would you change or do differently next time?                                                                                                                                
    - What will it feel like to give this card to someone special? Why?