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Climate Change, Painting


3rd, 4th, 5th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, Visual and Performing Arts


60 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Create and Evaluate (Art for the Earth #6)

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Apr 21, 2024
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In this lesson, students learn watercolor techniques, identify their target audience and create a rubric, and complete their artwork. 

Step 1 - Inquire: Students analyze Jill Pelto works of art, learn how colors create emotion, and practice their watercolor techniques.

Step 2 - Investigate: As a class, students identify their target audience and create a corresponding rubric.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students complete their artwork.
Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • Students explore and utilize visual art techniques to evoke emotions and encourage change.
  • Students identify a target audience and develop a rubric to evaluate the effectiveness of their project.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is lesson 6 of 6 in our 3rd-5th grade Art for the Earth unit.
  • Watercolour paints, water, and paper are necessary for this lesson. Thick watercolour paper will allow for more control of the paint but is not necessary.
  • Make sure to provide enough time for setup and cleanup.
  • If students are completing reflections and rubrics, the Student Reflection & Rubrics Document must be printed beforehand or shared digitally with the students. 
  • The Inspire section is listed as 30 minutes long. The final parts of this project may take much longer, depending on what you intend to do with your students. Additional time will probably be needed for displaying artwork, completing reflections, completing rubrics, and distributing and collecting rubrics from the target audience.


  • Displaying options, target audience, and evaluation methods can vary depending on time, resources, student ability, grade level, and school environment.
  • Ideas for target audiences: another class or grade level, the general school community, families, or an outside community that the class decides could benefit from this education.
  • Ideas for displaying options: in a classroom space, hallway, or common room space; in a digital exhibition; at a school event (e.g., art show, classwork presentation evening, parents' night, etc.)
Scientist Notes

This lesson connects arts with science, and it is ideal to communicate environmental change. Students learn basic watercolor techniques and apply the technique to create an artwork that would make an impact in their community. The procedures and tools used in the lesson are suitable for achieving the lesson outcomes. The lesson has passed our science review process and is recommended for use.


Primary Standards

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 5-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
  • National Core Arts Standards
    • Visual Arts: Standard 1 - Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
      • VA:Cr1.1.3a Elaborate on an imaginative idea.
      • VA:Cr1.1.4a Brainstorm multiple approaches to a creative art or design problem.
    • Visual Arts: Standard 9 - Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.
      • VA:Re9.1.4a Apply one set of criteria to evaluate more than one work of art.
    • Visual Arts: Standard 11 - Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.
      • VA:Cn11.1.5a Identify how art is used to inform or change beliefs, values, or behaviors of an individual or society.
Art for the Earth Unit Lesson Plans


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