Introduction to the Life and Paintings of Georgia O’Keeffe
Designed for grades 4 & 5
Fine Arts, English Language Arts and Reading, Science
Formal Lesson Plan and TEKS Information
Activity and Lesson Plan by: Amber Day Scott

Materials: writing materials, paper, wax paper, permanent marker, crayons (old and broken crayons work great!), cardboard (optional), small cups or containers (optional)

Special Equipment: pencil sharpener or cheese grater, old towel, electric iron


First, let’s learn about how plants grow!! The lesson starts at the 1-minute mark.

Take a look at the Plant Life Cycle Word Search and see how many vocabulary words you can find!

Activity 1:

American Artist Georgia O’Keeffe is best known for painting large flowers. Learn more about her by watching the video below:

Select one of Georgia’s flower paintings for closer study. Draw a quick, 5-minute sketch of the painting you selected, and use at least 5 terms from the vocabulary list to identify and label the parts of the flower in the Georgia O’Keeffe painting they chose.

 Activty 2:

Let’s create art inspired by Georgia’s large, abstracted flowers. Look for flowers in your neighborhood or yard to use as inspiration, or select a photo online to use.

Examine the flower you’ve selected. Using a permanent marker, draw a large, simple version of the flower and greenery on a piece of wax paper. The drawing should fill the space, but not include small details.

Next, select your colors. See if you can use 6 colors or less. Once you have selected your colors, peel the paper from the crayons you are using and use a pencil sharpener to create shavings. Try to keep the different colors of shavings separated.

Set up your ironing station: lay an old towel down on the work area to protect it. Place a piece of cardboard on top of the towel to create a flat surface. Lay the drawing on top of the cardboard. Spread a very thin layer of crayon shavings over the different areas of the drawing. A little goes a LONG way. The color will spread when heated.

Once all the colors have been added to the design, carefully lower another piece of wax paper over the shavings. Be careful not to bump, jostle, or shift the drawing underneath.

*This step should have adult supervision: Turn on your iron and set it to the lowest temperature, without steam. Place a piece of regular paper over your project. Get help to iron over the plain paper. Don’t touch the iron to the wax paper. Lightly iron the project, moving the plain paper so that the whole project eventually gets ironed. Start with very short ironing times so that you don’t overmelt the wax.

Once you are satisfied with the way the melted wax looks and the project cools, use permanent markers to redefine your initial drawing or to add additional details.

Beautiful! These projects look incredible when light is shining through them. How will you display yours? In the window? As a night-light? Be creative!

How did your knowledge of botany help you interact with works of art?