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Shape Up


Shapes are all around us! ​In this activity, you will go on a shape hunt to discover the shapes that are all around you, invent your own shapes, ​and create a shape drawing.

Grade Level




Big Idea/Theme

Artists observe the shapes around them for inspiration.

Essential Question

How does an artist’s use shapes into their artwork?

  • Slide Deck
  • Teaching Tools

Materials and Tools

  • Several pieces of paper (any kind)
  • ​Drawing utensil (e.g., pencil​, ballpoint pen, colored pencil, crayon, marker)


Before you start your shape hunt, let’s look at some of the shapes you will need to know.​

Shapes can be geometric ​or organic.​

Geometric shapes are always the same: square, rectangle, circle, oval, triangle, and more! ​

Organic shapes have no specific form and are often found in nature.​

Shapes can be big or small, ​sideways or tall. 

Artists work with shapes in many different ways.

Now you are ready for the shape hunt!

Search for geometric shapes ​in your home. ​

​How many different geometric shapes can you find? ​

​Draw them and label them. ​

Find the biggest geometric shape in your apartment. 

Now find the smallest. ​

​Can you find a small shape inside a big shape?

Now, look out your window. ​

​What geometric shapes can you find outside? ​

​Can you find a shape inside of another shape?

Hunt for organic shapes ​in your home and outside your window. ​

Draw four.​

Shapes can repeat to make patterns. ​

​Can you find shapes in ​a repeating pattern in ​your home? 

Draw as many patterns as you can find.

Find a place in your home where you see both geometric and organic shapes. ​

​Make a drawing of what ​you see. 

Now, let’s draw!

When two ends of a line meet, they make a shape. ​

​Invent your own organic shapes by drawing ​different types of lines ​and connecting them. ​

​What happens when a straight line meets a curved line? ​

​What happens when a spiral line meets a zigzag?

Let’s draw some more!

​How can you put shapes together in an interesting way?​


For inspiration, check out these artists who enjoy working with shapes: 

Gee’s Bend Quiltmakers

Jacob Lawrence

Sonia Delaunay

Henri Matisse

​Geometric Shapes

Organic Shapes


Shape Up
Written and photographed by Pamela Crimmins, Artist Instructor​

Studio in a School NYC Team
Andrea Burgay, Associate Director
Julie Applebaum, Senior Director
Hasna Muhammad, Ed.D., Chair, Board of Directors, Studio in a School Association
Alison Scott-Williams, President, Studio in a School NYC

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