Lesson Objectives:  Students will learn about space by using overlapping, size, and perspective while creating a fantasy space scene.

Time Required: 2 sessions

Robert T. McCall, Within Our Reach (available online)


Source: Dynamic Art Projects for Children, pgs 13-17 

Materials (Day 1):                                                                  

12×18 black construction paper

12×18 white construction paper

Tempera paint: white, red, yellow, blue, purple


Old toothbrushes

Spray bottles with water

Plastic wrap

Materials (Day 2):

Black oil pastel

White chalk pastel

Narrow poster board

White tempera paint




Discuss space in art and how depth is created by overlapping.

Procedure, Session 1:

  1. Splatter black paper with white paint using old toothbrushes or by tapping the paintbrush with paint with a pencil.
  2. Wet white paper with a spray bottle. Add puddles of tempera pint to the wet surface. Respray dry areas and place plastic wrap directly on the painted paper, wrinkling it to create channels. Let dry. 

Procedure, Session 2:

  1. From the planet paper, cut out several circles of different sizes for planets.
  2. From the remaining paper, cut out landforms. Glue to the black paper.
  3. Add oil pastel shadows to the planets in crescent shapes and blend it dark to light to create the illusion of depth.
  4. Add cracks in the landform: take a scrap piece of paper and color the edge heavily with black oil pastel. Place the paper where you’d like the crack in the landform to be and smear the black oil pastel from the scrap paper to the painted paper. It will create a crisp edge that looks like a crack and a smeared edge that looks like a cast shadow.
  5. Arrange and glue down the planets in the sky, making sure to overlap some of the planets and that all the shadows are going in the same direction.
  6. Add comet tails and beams of light around stars with white chalk pastel.
  7. Trace a dome city with chalk and smear it toward the center of the circle to create a glass dome effect for a small city inside.
  8. With a small piece of poster board, dip it into white tempera paint and stamp varying heights of lines inside the dome. With a smaller piece, add some horizontal lines toward the top of the buildings.
  9. Sprinkle glitter on the wet city.
  10. OPTIONAL: Texture a sheet of paper by spattering paint in a variety of colors on it. When dry, snip corners off and shade 1/3 of the triangle with oil pastel. Place pyramids in the picture and glue in place.