WILD FLOWER – Texture, Colour, Form

Students paint a pinch pot (made in a separate lesson) and then select a few dried flowers and grasses they have gathered to create a floral arrangement in it.

Required Time

120 Minutes

Grade Level

Grade 1 to Grade 4


Language Arts
Visual Arts



Crayola Washable Watercolour Paints, 8 Count Crayola Paint Brushes Crayola Scissors Dried Flowers and Grasses Floral Foam Water Containers Dry Pinch Pot Acrylic Varnish (optional)

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WILD FLOWER – Texture, Colour, Form - Step One

Step One

  1. Place the pinch pot on an upside-down plastic container so you can move it around without touching it.
  2. Add a small drop of water to a colour before starting to paint with it.
  3. Apply the watercolour paint in smooth, even strokes.
  4. Allow the paint to dry.
WILD FLOWER – Texture, Colour, Form - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Apply the watercolour paint in smooth, even strokes.
  2. It absorbs into the clay so apply 2 coats for stronger colours.
  3. Allow the paint to dry.
WILD FLOWER – Texture, Colour, Form - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Place a small amount of acrylic varnish in the lid of a plastic container.
  2. Paint the varnish directly onto the pinch pot.
  3. Be careful not to touch the pinch pot while it is wet.
  4. Allow the varnish to dry completely.
WILD FLOWER – Texture, Colour, Form - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Use the edge of a scissors to cut the floral foam.
  2. Place the foam into the pinch pot.
  3. Push it firmly into place and trim it so it fits. 
  4. Insert the grasses and dried flowers into the floral foam.
WILD FLOWER – Texture, Colour, Form - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Keep turning the pot around as you create your arrangement.
  2. Make sure the composition is balanced and looks good from all directions.

Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • paint and varnish a previously created pinch 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 the Greetings lesson plan available on this website;
  • write a note explaining how the person receiving the gift is special to them;
  • create a gift bag using the same technique used in the gift card;
  • give their gift to someone special;
  • share how their gift was received with their peers.


  1. Prior to this lesson have students create a pinch pot using the How to Make a Pinch Pot lesson plan available on this website and be sure it is completely dry.
  2. Teach students about plants and wild flowers.
  3. If possible take students on a nature walk and collect dried grasses and flowers. Otherwise purchase a small selection.
  4. Download images of flower arrangements from the Internet, for example,
    Flowers in Vase
    Rousseau Flowers


  1. Discuss gift giving in general.
    Why and when do we give gifts?
    - How do we choose the gifts we give?
    - What are some of their favourite gifts?
  2. Read a gift-giving story such as Rabbit’s Gift, by George Shannon, or Random Acts of Kindness, by the Editors of Conari Press to connect with the idea of generosity.
  3. View the images of flower arrangements and discuss the use of colour, shape, texture, positive and negative space, and balance in the designs.
  4. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Paint the pinch pot and varnish it.
  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 what the pot carefully
    - painted the varnish smoothly
    - made sure there are no fingerprints in the varnish
    - used a variety of textures
    - used different colours
    - placed the floral foam into the pot securely
    - arranged the flowers and grasses in a balanced composition
  3. Demonstrate how to apply paint in even strokes and explain that they may have to give it two coats because the dry clay will absorb the paint.
  4. When some students have finished painting their pots demonstrate how to apply the varnish to seal the paint and make it shiny.
  5. Allow the varnish to dry before continuing.
  6. Demonstrate how to cut the floral foam and place it into the pot. Sometimes you have to wedge smaller bits into the sides to fill it completely.
  7. Tell students to choose a variety of textures and colours when selecting their dried flowers and grasses.
  8. Show them how to place the flowers into the foam.
  9. Draw attention to the placement of objects.
  10. Remind students that the arrangement needs to look good from all sides.
  11. Encourage them to have some pieces higher than others and to pay attention to the negative spaces.
  12. Allow time for students to arrange their flowers and grasses.
  13. Observe students as they work. 
  14. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Have students work in small groups.  
    - provide a piece of coloured fabric for each group to place on their tables
    - invite groups to work together to make a pleasing arrangement of their finished work
  2. Ask students to gather in front of the displays and to look at the works thoughtfully.
    - direct them to find something interesting about any 3 of the arrangements
  3. Move from display to display discussing the work at each spot.
  4. During the discussion include references to:
    - contrast - How has it has been used to balance the arrangement?
    movement - How do colours and textures get the eye to travel through the arrangement?
    ​- feelings - How do the works make you feel? 

                    - How might someone 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 arrangements – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the 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 - WildFlower_tracking.pdf)
  5. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads - WildFlower_self-assessment.pdf, or WildFlowerPrimary_self-assessment.pdf)