Grade 1 – Art – Indigenous Art

Subject/Grade: Art  / Grade 1  Lesson Title: Indigenous Art  Teacher: Karlee Michael
Stage 1: Identify Desired Results
Established Goals: (Learning outcome/s & indicator/s from curriculum)
CH 1.2 – Identify traditional arts expressions of First Nations and Métis artists.

E) Discuss stories, images, ideas, and/or emotions expressed in First Nations and Métis traditional arts expressions.

Understandings: (can also be written as ‘I Can’ statements)

I can… 

  • describe what I notice about Morrisseau’s paintings
  • participate in a discussion about Indigenous art.
  • choose colors and elements to include in my own artwork.
  • experiment with bold colors and lines in my artwork.
Students will know…

  • that Norval Morrisseau was an Indigenous artist from Canada.
  • that Indigenous art often tells stories and represents cultural beliefs.
  • that art can be used to tell stories and express ideas.
Students will be able to…

  • share a story through their artwork
  • work indepentently on creating their art
  • share their ideas in class discussion
Stage 2: Determine Evidence for Assessing Learning
Have students share their artwork with the class and explain the story or idea behind their creation. Assess their ability to articulate their thoughts and connect their artwork to the lesson content.
Stage 3: Build Learning Plan
Set (Engagement):                                      Time: 3 mins

Use Slide Show Created to go through lesson

Introduce Norval Morrisseau

Explain that Morrisseau was an Indigenous artist who used his art to share stories from his culture and express his beliefs and experiences.

Development:                                              Time: 30 mins

Show students examples of his artwork (in slide show)

Engage students in discussion about the art by asking questions

What do you notice about Morrisseau’s paintings?

How do you think he chose the colors he used?

What stories do you think he might be telling in his paintings?

Explain to students that he is often sharing a story from the Indigenous culture through his artwork.

Ask students if they were to tell a story through their art what story would they tell and what colours would they use?

Explain to students that we  are going to create our own Morrisseau inspired artwork together as a class. 

Hand out paper & markers to students

Do the artwork project together (I will do mine on the board)

Start by drawing your animal big on on the paper in pencil (examples: Buffalo, fish, bird & Turtle)

Outline it in marker 

Add sections to animal & outline boldly 

Pick out colours together (bright colours) 

Add patterns to each section

-talk about different patterns the can do their sections 

(ex. Lines & dots) 

Colour background 

Closure:                                                        Time: 5-10 mins

Give students the opportunity to share their artwork with the class and encourage them to share the story behind their artwork and why they choose those colours.





Possible Adaptations/


-Offer a variety of question prompts at different levels of complexity to meet the diverse needs of students in the class.

– Provide opportunities for students to continue working on their artwork if they need extra time to complete them.

Management Strategies:

  • Circulate around the room while students are working on their artwork to provide support, answer questions, and ensure that they are staying on task
  • Use visual timer so students are aware of how much time they have left for their individual work time. 
  • Use attention grabbers as needed to refocus. 
  • Quickly and calmly redirect off-task behavior by using non-verbal cues or verbal reminders
Stage 4: Reflection

Professional Development Goal is…