Van Gogh's Sunflowers Integrated Art Lesson

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Are you ready for an engaging new way to teach about Vincent van Gogh? 

This lesson includes a presentation and  4 fun learning activity choices to use after the presentation that will help students meet common core standards.

What you get:

  • Roll and Draw Instructions (2 pages)
  • Roll and Draw Sheet & Choice Drawing Page (2 pages)
  • Description Card Instructions (2 pages)
  • Description Cards (4 pages)
  • Drawing Pages (4 pages)
  • Writing and Rubric Instructions + Goals (3 pages)
  • Element of Art/Principles of Design (3 pages)
  • Writing and Rubric Pages (4 pages)
  • Matching Instructions (1 page)
  • Matching Sheets (4 pages)
  • Matching Answer Pages (4 pages)
  • Presentation (in a separate file - 13 slides)

That makes 33 pages of lesson material & 13 presentation slides.

Integrating Literacy!

Use the van Gogh presentation to introduce your students to the artist Vincent van Gogh.  During the presentation, there will be several opportunities for your students to practice critiquing art.  They will be asked to compare and contrast paintings by van Gogh and photographs of sunflowers.  They will also be asked to use descriptive words to talk about the colors, texture and patterns found in the paintings and photographs.  (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.3.1, S.L.4.1 & S.L.5.1)

Lots of Variations!

The students can use the roll and draw sheet and dice to roll for the vase design and the design of 3 flowers. 

Alternatively, students could use the description cards to listen to the teacher read, or read the description of their flowers themselves, then draw each flower.  This will help reinforce listening and reading skills. This might make a fun literacy center idea. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.1 & RI.4.7)

The students can turn the sunflower into a wide variety of finished art projects.  Watercolors, oil pastels and salt are used in the thumbnail example.

I’ve provided a variety of paper designs that can be printed out and used for students to draw on.  This is purely optional and blank paper can also be used.

Add Some Writing!

After finishing up the artwork.  There is a sheet for students to describe their artwork.  Rubrics and writing goals are also a part of this lesson kit along with information about the elements of art and principles of design.  Using good descriptive words, helps students convey ideas and information clearly. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2, W.4.2 & W.5.2)

A Fun Matching Game!

I've also made 4 Sunflower Matching sheets.  This might be a good activity for early finishers.  Students will practice their reading comprehension by reading the description of the sunflower and matching it to the correct sunflower.  The description also asks the student to color the sunflower certain colors.  (Answer sheets are provided for easy checking.) (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.1)

Do you want to see a step-by-step demo on how I did a painting using this lesson?  Check out my blog post.

Designed to be different:

  • Roll & Draw pages turn drawing into a fun game.
  • Simple drawings ideas help children feel successful.
  • Finding drawing combinations keep kids drawing longer.
  • Drawing choices invite children to think.

You’ll want to be sure to download the free binder cover so that you can start your binder collection of Expressive Monkey drawing pages. 


Easily download this zip file with a link that is automatically emailed to you immediately after your purchase and you can begin using this lesson right away!


If you have a Mac computer, just click on the zip file and it will create a folder (almost magically) filled with all the goodies you just purchased.

Windows uses File Explorer to open zipped files.  Here are some easy instructions from Microsoft in case you’ve not done this before.