PAINTING EMOTIONS – Line, Colour, Shape

Students use crayons to draw lines and shapes that express a specific emotion and paint over the drawing with watercolours.

Required Time

40 Minutes

Grade Level

Kindergarten to Grade 3


Language Arts
Visual Arts


colour emotion line shape


Crayola Watercolour Paints Crayola Regular Crayons - Not Washable Crayola Marker & Watercolour Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12") Crayola Paint Brushes Water Containers Paper Towels Masking Tape Plastic Placemats - 1 per student

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PAINTING EMOTIONS – Line, Colour, Shape - Step One

Step One

  1. Think of an emotion.
    - anger
    - happy
    - love
    - sad
    - shy
    - afraid
  2. Choose one.
  3. Draw lines and shapes that show how that feels.
  4. Press hard with the crayon.
PAINTING EMOTIONS – Line, Colour, Shape - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Tape the paper to a plastic placemat.
  2. When the tape is removed it will leave a white border around the paintings.
  3. Be sure to use one long strip of tape for each side.
  4. Paint over the whole drawing with watercolours.
PAINTING EMOTIONS – Line, Colour, Shape - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Gently remove the tape.
  2. Look at your painting with fresh eyes.
  3. How does it make you feel?
    - Make sounds to go with your painting.
    - Make movements to go with your painting.
    - Move to your painting while you make the sounds.
  4. How does your painting show your emotions?

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create a crayon resist picture that shows a specific emotion;
  • use line and colour expressively;
  • work independently and self-regulate;
  • share their ideas with peers; 
  • demonstrate a sense of accomplishment.


Have students:

  • make a small 'Emotions' book using the How to Make an 8 Page Booklet worksheet available on this website;
  • choose several emotions and use 2 pages for each one;
  • write the word and make pictures of things that make them feel that way, e.g., HAPPY – going to the park, playing in the bathtub, etc.;
  • share their books with their peers explaining how their body feels when they are experiencing the emotion. 



  1. Download and display the Line, Colour and Shape posters available on this website.
    - review or teach the element of shape – geometric, organic
    - review or teach the element of colour – primary colours
  2. Gather and make available books about emotions, for example, The Color Monster: A Pop-Up Book of Feelings, by Anna Llenas; Brave As Can Be: A Book of Courage, by Jo Witek, and Christine Roussey; I Am Love: A Book of Compassion, by Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds; In My Heart: A Book of Feelings, by Jo Witek, aand Christine Roussey; and All My Treasures: A Book of Joy, by Jo Witek, and Christine Roussey.
  3. Set up a creativity centre with paint brushes; crayons; drawing paper; watercolour paints; water containers; and paper towels. 
  4. Provide time for students to learn to recognize their emotions and strategies for managing them.


  1. Conduct a read aloud with a book such as The Color Monster: A Pop-Up Book of Feelings, by Anna Llenas focusing on the illustrations and use of colour to express feelings.
  2. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Create a crayon resist picture that shows an emotion.
  2. Use line and colour to show the emotion.
  3. Use your own ideas.
  4. Share your ideas with others.

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:
    created a picture that shows an emotion
    - used lines and colours to show the emotion

    - used my own ideas
    - kept the paper in good condition 
  3. Guide your students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  4. Observe students as they work.
  5.  Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Gather students to view and discuss their pictures. Ask students to share:
    how they used different shapes and lines to show the emotion
    - what they learned about showing emotions with colours and lines
    - what they like best about their pictures
  2. Display all the pictures in the classroom.
  3. Encourage students to view the pictures and notice how they are the same and how they are different.


  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 picture, 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 - PaintingEmotions_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - PaintingEmotions_self-assessment.pdf)