Lesson Objectives: Students will learn texture, as well as line, shape,  and color.

Time Required: 1½ hours or 2 days

Artist:  Georgia O’Keeffe, Yellow Cactus

Source:  Dynamic Art Projects for Children, pages 7-9


White construction paper 12×18

Cut up colored triangles (check Paper Pieces bin in EA room)

Pencils and erasers

Tempera paint (To make this project go faster you can have them use markers)


Water and cups

Paper towels

Elmer’s glue

Glitters and a bucket for each different glitter


Show them pictures of cacti. Discuss texture. Show how using overlapping shapes creates depth so that the image does not appear flat. 


  1. Hand out the paper and have them put their names on the back. Orient vertically.
  2. Have the students draw curving lines in various sizes and shapes to represent a cactus shape. Start at the bottom with the biggest shape. Work their way up adding a few here and there making sure they connect. Use big shapes to take up the whole page.
  3. Talk about how they should have some shapes overlap to create depth.
  4. Divide the big shapes in halves and thirds with straight or curving lines. They can make circles inside too. Make sure they make them big enough so the color will be bold and stand out when they paint them.
  5. Hand out the paints or markers and have them color with the same color in a few different spots. Switch and use a different color. Continue on in this manner.
  6. You may need to blow dry them if you are doing this project all in one day.
  7. After they are done coloring in everything have them outline their painting with Elmer’s glue. Have them go to a station with a bucket of glitter and pour or shake the glitter over the whole page. Dump the excess glitter back into the bucket.
  8. Before the glue has a chance to dry, have them then go back to their desk and add quickly the triangles for the spikes to the outline of the glitter glue. The glue will hold the glitter and the triangles.