Andy Warhol Lesson

I had great fun teaching a pop art lesson out of this terrific book, Discovering Great Artists, to 21 kindergarteners.

In their “Lots of Me!” lesson, the authors give clear instruction for teaching Andy Warhol’s style of pop art by using photographs of the kids themselves.  I simplified the lesson just a bit because of the kids’ ages and my allotted time – about 40 minutes.

Before Class
My daughter’s teacher that year posted pictures on her class website.  I downloaded a picture of each student’s face and, per the book’s instructions, cropped it into a 6″ square and made 6 photo copies.  I brought the photos and 12″ x 18″ sheets of construction paper to class.  The teacher confirmed that the kids could use their classroom crayons, markers, glue sticks and scissors.

I did some research on Andy Warhol, hoping to find info that a kindergartener might retain!  I also found copies of his famous Campbell’s Soup Cans and pop art-style pictures of Hannah Montana and Barack Obama (we’d just had a presidential election).
Background for the Kids
I held up the images of Hannah Montana and then Barack Obama and asked if anyone knew who they were.  Most kids did, so they understood when I explained that Pop Art uses subjects that are popular or familiar to most people.  We also talked about the repetition and bright colors.
What a 5-Year-old Will Remember About Andy Warhol
  • Andy Warhol’s mom liked art, too, and gave him a candy bar every time he finished a page in his coloring book.
  • Later, when he couldn’t decide what to paint, a friend suggested he paint his favorite things in the world, like soup (he had been sick a lot as a kid!).

Delighted with so many photos of themselves, the kids went to work.  Some made intricate designs on each photo, some copied my sample exactly, and others just colored.  But they loved it and at the end of class most of them could tell me something about Andy Warhol and pop art.

Changes For Next Time

  • Attach a brief explanation for parents on the back of the finished artwork.
  • Give a candy bar to each child when he finishes!