Line and Shape Games

Supplies: pencils and white paper 12"x18"
Note: The yarn and observation games are for K-3rd grades and the drawing games can be adapted for all ages.
  1. Give each student a 2' piece of yarn. Verbally instruct them to make:
    1. a straight line
    2. a wiggly line
    3. a line that crosses over itself more than once
    4. various geometric shapes (circle, triangle, square, rectangle)
    5. the shape of an animal head
    6. the first letter of their first name.
    Throughout the game, ask the students to compare their work with that of their neighbors. Notice the variety in the yarn drawings. Encourage individuality in visual arts. Collect the yarn at the end of this lesson segment to avoid distraction in the next game.

  2. Have the students observe the classroom surroundings and visually locate straight lines. An example might be the ceiling line where the wall and ceiling meet or the edge of a window. The students will find endless straight lines and they love to participate. Now challenge them to locate a wiggly line or a line that crosses over on itself. Continue the game with the exterior lines that make up the geometric shapes, (a circle might be the exterior of the clock, a light fixture, or the iris of the eye).

  3. Next provide pencils and 12"x18" white paper. Instruct the students to draw a straight line the ends of which touch two edges of the paper. Again ask the students to compare their work with that of their neighbors. Continue the drawing exercise with a wiggly line, a line that crosses itself more than once, and the geometric shapes. New challenges to try with lines can include:
    1. Draw a small cluster of short lines on the page, then illustrate with line what happens to the cluster of lines when the wind blows.
    2. Draw lines showing the movement of a river and then what happens to those lines when they encounter a rock.
    3. Show speed, heat, and sound in different drawings with lines.

  4. Instruct the students to turn the page over and have the students use lines to draw a picture. For example, they could draw a self-portrait with their favorite pet or toy. This drawing should be large enough to fill the page adding in background and surroundings, and include a variety of line types.


©   Deborah Padrick   2001