Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Brown Bag It

Deborah Walther
Santa Rosa District Schools


Students draw an object relying only on their sense of touch and imagination and then draw it again using their powers of observation to create a detailed study of the object. Comparisons are then made of the two drawings.


The student uses two-dimensional and three-dimensional media, techniques, tools, and processes to communicate an idea or concept based on research, environment, personal experience, observation, or imagination.

The student uses tools, media, processes, and techniques proficiently, knowledgeably, and in a safe and responsible manner.

The student knows how the elements of art and the principles of design can be used to solve specific art problems.

The student uses effective control of media, techniques, and tools when communicating an idea in both two-dimensional and three-dimensional works of art.


-Drawing paper
-Brown paper bags
-Assorted objects such as shells, seed pods, small figurines, etc.


1. Collect various objects and place in brown paper bags for students to have an opportunity to rely on their sense of touch to draw what is in the bag.
2. Download and make copies of the formative "Art Production Criteria Checklist" (see Associated File) for each student. Have this written on the board so that all students can view it.
3. Have 2 sheets of paper for each student.
4. Have pencils or other drawing material of your choice ready.
5. Download and make copies of the "Evaluation Checklist" (one per student; see Associated File.)


1. Announce to the class that they are about to begin a lesson that will rely on their powers of touch and imagination.

2. Hand each student a brown paper bag that contains an object such as a small shell, seed pod, figurine, etc.

3. Ask the students not to look in the bag but to put their hands into the bags and feel the objects. Next, have students draw the objects on paper without looking at them.

4. Walk around the classroom and monitor the students' progress. Encourage them to draw what they are -seeing- with their fingers and to record each minute characteristic on their drawing paper.

5. After students have done their best to record their objects, allow them to remove the objects form the bags and observe them carefully.

6. Next, have students use their powers of observation to create yet another study of the object on a second sheet of drawing paper.
Students then compare their two drawings and list or share something positive about each drawing.

7. Upon completion of the project, students complete a self-evaluation using the "Art Production Criteria Checklist" (see Associated File).

8. Lead the students in a discussion of the benefits of good observation skills as well as the rewards of a good imagination.

9. Formatively assess each project using the "Evaluation Checklist" located in the Associated File.


1. Students are observed participating in the discussion about drawing from observation as opposed to drawing from imagination.
2. Students should complete both the drawing based on the sense of touch and imagination and the drawing based on observation.
3. Students complete a self-evaluation upon completion of their projects. It is located in the associated file as an "Art Production Criteria Checklist."
4. Projects are evaluated based upon the specified criteria located in the Associated File as an "Evaluation Checklist." The "Evaluation Checklist" is a tool the teacher may use to record mastery of the targeted standards.


This lesson can be done with a variety of drawing materials other than pencil.

Attached Files

Evaluation and Art Production Criteria Checklist.     File Extension: pdf

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